West Seattle Weather Watch: Tuesday a.m. updates; new forecast

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Seattle Public Schools is DISMISSING 2 HOURS EARLY, just announced, see separate story.)

(Latest bridge and Viaduct views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
No snow on the ground – at least where we are – but some is falling, off and on. Closures, changes, forecast updates:

(updated 10:42 am) FORECAST CHANGING? : Though a winter storm warning takes effect tonight, famous forecaster Cliff Mass has JUST updated his website, saying it’s scaling back, though still tough to tell. He was on KPLU Radio, saying basically the same thing. … Meantime, the National Weather Service’s midmorning “forecast discussion” is not quite so scaled-back, saying that they’re still expecting serious snow after midnight and that “5-10 inches” still looks plausible for Seattle.

(updated 12:46 pm) SCHOOL CHANGES/CLOSURES: Two new announcements: Seattle Public Schools is DISMISSING two hours early; Explorer West Middle School too.

(earlier) Seattle, Highline, Vashon districts are all opening two hours late. Explorer West Middle School and Our Lady of Guadalupe School open at 10 am. Westside School opens at 9:30 am … Community School of West Seattle, 1 hour late … Burien’s Kennedy HS is closed. More details in our ongoing list.

(updated 7:46 am) TRANSIT: Metro remains on snow routes. Route-by-route info here. Note: There are scattered reports of buses NOT taking snow routes, but they’re all SUPPOSED TO …

(updated 6:38 am) OTHER CHANGES/CANCELLATIONS: Downtown (etc.), King County Superior and District Courts are opening at 9:30 am. (King County updates are all here.) … As announced Monday, tonight’s West Seattle meeting to talk about the city emergency plan is canceled

(updated 7:06 am) TRASH (ETC.) PICKUP: Just in from Seattle Public Utilities:

While some roads in Seattle may still be icy, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is advising customers to treat Tuesday as a normal day for garbage, recycling, and food/yard waste collection. But customers should note that collections may be restricted in hilly locations.

Please put your garbage, recycling, and food/yard waste out by 7 a.m. to ensure pickup. If your collection is missed, please leave your materials out for one more day. If your materials still have not been collected by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, please put them out on your next regularly scheduled pickup day.

For Customers Who Were Missed Yesterday: Customers, who were missed yesterday, January 16, should set out their materials today for pickup. If your material is not picked up today, set it out on your next regularly scheduled pickup day.

Missed customers will be allowed to set out double their normal amount of garbage, recycling and yard waste at no additional charge.

(added 7:49 am) COMCAST OUTAGE: We’ve had three reports via Twitter of trouble in Gatewood. One says they called it in and were told it’s a priority, they’re “working on it.”

96 Replies to "West Seattle Weather Watch: Tuesday a.m. updates; new forecast"

  • sjross January 17, 2012 (6:25 am)

    Just commuted from California&Charlestown to Tacoma. Roads are wet but temps above freezing the whole trip EXCEPT around Federal Way where snowing fairly steady and all lanes on I-5 covered in a thin layer. Once you get to the Pierce/King Co. line it transitions back to rain and roads are bare. No problems at all on WS side streets nor California/Admiral/WS bridge.

  • CI January 17, 2012 (6:59 am)

    56 mins ago
    Rain snow mix near SW library. Streets are wet. No snow accumulation. 7:00 am

  • mightymo January 17, 2012 (7:00 am)

    Light snow is falling at Andover and 44th — on wet pavement.

  • WestsideMom January 17, 2012 (7:02 am)

    I cannot believe Seattle Public Schools are opening 2 hours late! I also can’t believe Westside is opening a 1/2 hour late– there is zero snow left at the school! Save the snow days for when there is snow. What an inconvenience to all the families. It was 36 degrees and rainy last night and there is NO SNOW! That said, I am excited for a real snow day on Wednesday. I hope it comes so we can go sledding again!

  • deb January 17, 2012 (7:03 am)

    rain/snow mix in lower Fauntleroy…45th/Wildwood…I hate to go catch the bus downtown to turn around and come back home

  • Local Resident January 17, 2012 (7:05 am)

    Snowing North Admiral 7am

  • Seolaloop January 17, 2012 (7:08 am)

    I’m with Deb. If it’s snowing I ain’t going! I can’t tell what that us falling right now but since it is coming down fast I’d guess it is sleet? (Arbor Heights)

  • snowy January 17, 2012 (7:10 am)

    when i woke up at 6am there was no snow falling in highland park. now at 7am its snowing steadily. are people going to work or staying home?

  • kevin January 17, 2012 (7:10 am)

    BIG steady flakes coming down in Arbor Heights.

  • HelperMonkey January 17, 2012 (7:12 am)

    Snowing hard in Arbor Heights

  • snowy January 17, 2012 (7:23 am)

    snow stopped. i have to go to work.

  • Arbor Heights Mom January 17, 2012 (7:32 am)

    @ WestsideMom: Remember that the decision to start 2 hours late is a district-wide decision. While we may not have much on the ground here, some areas may have quite a bit of snow and ice. Also, this doesn’t count as a “snow day” since it is only a delayed start. No need to make it up at the end of the year.

  • Rockergirl5678 January 17, 2012 (7:40 am)

    Snowing in Bellevue now…..for the time being anyways!

  • Kadoo January 17, 2012 (7:42 am)

    Westside mom and others: remember, multiple factors go into school delays/closures. That can include staff commuting from outside West Seattle.

  • Sue January 17, 2012 (7:47 am)

    This is similar to what happened that fateful day of the the 7+ hour bus commute home 2 years ago – you feel like an idiot calling in sick when there’s no snow, but you don’t want to get stuck later. I’m grateful that I happened to have a vacation day scheduled today so I don’t have to make that decision. Sounds like we’ll have easier decisions tomorrow if all things happen as forecast.

  • sophista-tiki January 17, 2012 (7:49 am)

    go to the store and stock up on toilet paper NOW!!!!!!!

  • Cjp January 17, 2012 (7:54 am)

    Fat flakes falling in highland, but its just rain once you’re down the hill

  • CJP January 17, 2012 (7:54 am)

    er, Highland Park that should be.

  • Lisa January 17, 2012 (8:00 am)

    For bus commuters the #21 is only a snow shuttle, no regular bus stops South of Roxbury.

  • HarryW January 17, 2012 (8:04 am)

    Sitting here right on west side of Alki on Sound staring up a a very pretty sliver of a moon. No snow here.

  • HarryW January 17, 2012 (8:04 am)

    Sitting here right on west side of Alki on Sound staring up a a very pretty sliver of a moon. No snow here.

  • ET January 17, 2012 (8:06 am)

    in white center – roads bare and wet, zero snow overnight, almost all the snow has melted.

  • jedifarfy January 17, 2012 (8:12 am)

    Bus to downtown ran like normal. Not sure if my driver knew or maybe didn’t care, we went right down Highland Park Way with no problems. In the mean time, a coworker waited a long while for a 55 and ended up getting to the junction and taking a chained 54.

  • D1 January 17, 2012 (8:22 am)

    @Patrick, What do all the other models show ? The same ? What is taking the winds so long to switch from s to n ? It should start snowing when they switch over ?

  • Jenava January 17, 2012 (8:30 am)

    My husband and I just left for work and it looks like there’s an accident on the bridge.

  • Jenava January 17, 2012 (8:32 am)

    It looking like its just de-icing trucks…traffic is moving now!

  • Snow in highland park January 17, 2012 (8:33 am)

    I have been waiting for a half hour for my bus. It never came

  • Seolaloop January 17, 2012 (8:34 am)

    Been waiting 20+ minutes for a bus or shuttle 21…in Arbor Heights. Guess the 8:10 bus broke down. Fyi

  • Jen January 17, 2012 (8:43 am)

    Busses all chained. Took 45 min on the 21E to go downtown from 35th & morgan. Via low bridge & surface streets (snow route) no snow downtown.
    Not much snow on Capitol hill either. Pack your patience if traveling by bus!!!

  • Swiss miss January 17, 2012 (8:47 am)

    Does anyone know if the light rail will be working in the snow? I have family coming in from AZ tommorrow and am trying to have a back up plan for getting to the airport

  • bg January 17, 2012 (8:49 am)

    can anyone give me an update on WS to Burien? I have an appointment in about an hour, and hate snow and ice.

  • seattletimebandit January 17, 2012 (8:51 am)

    Comcast is back in Gatewood as of about 8:30 a.m.

  • gooberdog January 17, 2012 (8:54 am)

    For anyone in Arbor Heights and Metro-savvy – what does the #21 Snow Shuttle mean, exactly? Still picking up in Arbor Heights? If you catch the shuttle, do you have to get on a different #21 to get down 35th past Roxbury?

  • Philip Mariconda January 17, 2012 (8:57 am)

    Buses on snow routes already strikes me as a case of an ounce of prevention for no reason. At best they’re saying “we’re not smart enough to make the call when roads are actually getting hazardous, so we’ll do it now.”

    Part of me doesn’t blame them. After all Jim Cantore from The Weather Channel is coming here :-o (like Danger Jim Foreman, but on a national scale.)

  • HP Rez January 17, 2012 (9:02 am)

    Cliff Mass is scaling back – much ado about nothing??


  • HarryW January 17, 2012 (9:14 am)

    Philip: If Jim Cantore is on his way, we can all breathe easier. I was in NYC during the September hurricane. Cantore came, splashed around in an inch of water and 50 mph winds then went home. In other words, a non event. Which is probably what this will turn into as well.

  • Christina January 17, 2012 (9:15 am)

    Just a warning to those heading out to Westcrest Dog Park – the parking lot and the park were still covered with snow when I left at 9am. Cloverdale also had some slick spots from 7th to the park. My rear-wheel drive truck was none to happy and couldn’t make it into the parking lot. I saw one car in the slot sliding around a bit as well. Be careful if you go.

  • Christina January 17, 2012 (9:20 am)

    Also, I forgot to mention, White Center roads are just wet pavement. Nothing exciting. Most of the side streets are wet pavement as well.

    On the other hand, my husband went up to Everett today and he’s said it’s snowing pretty hard up there now.

    @Phillip Buses have to go on chains if there is even a minor possibility of snow because it can take hours to get all the buses chained up when it does start snowing. Yes, it looks silly, but if we get another ice up like we had on Sunday night it would shut down the commute and strand thousands who would then have to walk home. Metro is trying to prevent that by being extra cautious and I’m grateful to them for that, as someone who once had to participate in a “walk home because all the buses got stuck without chains” event.

  • Lisa January 17, 2012 (9:35 am)

    #21 buses passing the house maybe back on schedule?

  • gooberdog January 17, 2012 (9:41 am)

    @Lisa – then what is the function of the #21 “Snow Shuttle”? I walked to Roxbury yesterday and there was a #21 that passed me both ways going in and out of Arbor Heights – SOUTH of Roxbury. The Snow Shuttle, I guess, but do I dare get on it? Where will it drop me off???

  • datamuse January 17, 2012 (9:52 am)

    If anyone’s travel plans today include Tacoma/Pierce County, it’s currently snowing rather heavily here though it’s not quite cold enough to create a real hazard.

  • D1 January 17, 2012 (10:15 am)

    I remember the 1996 snowstorm i beleive they predicted 12inchs. After it was all over there was almoslt 3feet at my place.

  • D1 January 17, 2012 (10:17 am)

    @patrick, Any new info on the forecast ?

  • sophista-tiki January 17, 2012 (10:22 am)

    Just came from Target at Westwood and the lady infront of me had the biggest pack of toilet paper available.

  • Arbor Heights Mom January 17, 2012 (10:30 am)

    @Arbor Heights Mom — We have the same handle. Can we discuss? This is low priority but I always startle at seeing a comment I didn’t make. Unless I’m secretly taking Ambien at night. thanks!

  • Admiral Lady January 17, 2012 (10:40 am)

    Annnnnddd, now it’s snowing in Notrh Admiral in a somewhat sideways fashion…flakes are getting bigger!

  • andrea January 17, 2012 (10:43 am)

    snowing pretty good on Genesee Hill off of Charlestown. very pretty!

  • seattlecris January 17, 2012 (10:50 am)

    Snow, then it stops, then its back … but i think its here!!! (35th and Austin) A few days back they said high winds would accompany this storm and possibly cause power outages. I hope that part of the forecast has changed as I’ve not seen it mentioned lately.

  • soundDogswims January 17, 2012 (10:52 am)

    snow sniffling of wimpy flakes, once again, melting on contact; but until I *feel* the icy wind of artic air outside I have come to this conclusion for myself: expect a flukey inch or two with immediate warm rain to melt.

  • Findlay January 17, 2012 (10:52 am)

    Snowing big flakes at SeaTac!

  • seattlecris January 17, 2012 (10:55 am)

    Gotta love Seattle weather, now I see blue sky to the south!

  • A January 17, 2012 (10:57 am)

    @Sophista-Tiki that was likely me. Had an AmazonFresh order for this am, but they cancelled on me. Had to run to Target to get a few things, and the super ginormous pkg of tp was on sale. :-)

  • Philip Mariconda January 17, 2012 (11:04 am)

    Being originally from New Jersey, big flakes are fun and fluffy and rarely cause trouble. Lots of small flakes are what to watch out for.

  • sam-c January 17, 2012 (11:07 am)

    So where is the low ? ?
    just like yesterday, we’ve had winds coming from the south. it was raining pretty hard in Tukwila, no snow. it’s too warm for snow. based on Cliff’s predictions, I thought for sure we’d see snow by now. oh well.

  • sophista-tiki January 17, 2012 (11:09 am)

    SO FUNNY. ever since I was a kid I noticed how people would rush to the store and buy giant packages of toilet paper when ever there was an impending storm anouncement. ( completely unrelated to it being on sale) hehehe

  • chas redmond January 17, 2012 (11:13 am)


    offers raw data for those interested in doing their own Cliff Mass-like analysis.

  • DF January 17, 2012 (11:25 am)

    This is going to sound absolutely crazy, but my wife just came from dropping off our daughter at elementary school (930a start normally, 2-hour delay this morning), and the school advised her that they were cancelling for the day! Still haven’t gotten official word from SPS about this via robo-calls or anything else.

  • Seolaloop January 17, 2012 (11:28 am)

    FYI re: the 21 Snow Shuttle – the snow shuttle makes the loop through Arbor Heights and drops you at 35th and Roxbury where you’d take the regular 21 on a snow route. Same going back I believe. You’d have to catch the shuttle home from 35th & Roxbury unless you feel like walking. Basically, they have the little bus go through the neighborhood as it’s less likely to get stuck.

  • SJ2 January 17, 2012 (11:31 am)

    Are buses running along 35th between Avalon/Morgan? My partner has been waiting for a bus for over an hour and has not seen one go by.

  • Larry January 17, 2012 (11:35 am)

    Wow…good JOKE Seattle public schools. Start 2 hours late at 11:35 AM (announced last night) Just NOW announced…dismissed 2 hours EARLY. So…school 11:35 then lunch break then dismissed at 1:35.

  • bundled up January 17, 2012 (11:39 am)

    @ SJ2, Check the Metro snow routing page for your partner’s bus. Chances are the stop has been moved.


  • ScottA January 17, 2012 (11:42 am)

    I thought WSDOT had made a real effort to upgrade their web services after past storms but wow it seems they have 2 Commodore 64s wired into a dial-up line. NWS and WSB and other sites have kept up with demand. Maybe Google or Amazon staff can devote some 20 percent hours to help WSDOT with servers, pipes or better code.

    • WSB January 17, 2012 (12:36 pm)

      ScottA – I’ll cut WSDOT a little slack since we seem to be having some slowness issues ourselves, although I would wager their budget is a LOT bigger than ours :) I wrote this at the end of the school update, but we apologize if anyone is having difficulty accessing – we are working with our server managers AGAIN to make sure we can handle big traffic – and I also always advise that even if you are not a big user of Facebook or Twitter make sure you have liked/followed us on one or both because we will always publish important breaking info there (like the Seattle Public Schools decision to close two hours early) too … WSB is *priority* and this is ALWAYS the first place to go, but we are glad to have those as side channels (we used to use a backup website but it’s hard to find a way to make sure people remember its address … though if worst came to worst, we would also publish WS info on our White Center site). Links: http://facebook.com/westseattlebloghttp://twitter.com/westseattleblog – and our WC site for absolute crisis (its servers are hosted by a different company in a different city from WSB, more redundancy) http://whitecenternow.com – TR

  • Westgirl January 17, 2012 (11:48 am)

    Does anyone know how long the 54/55 take with the reroute? Have to work DT at 4 and I’m not sure how long it will take.

  • bundled up January 17, 2012 (11:52 am)

    The 55 took me about 40 minutes this morning, boarding at 7:30.

  • smokeycretin9 January 17, 2012 (12:35 pm)

    WSDOT pages still down. fudge!

  • ScottA January 17, 2012 (12:44 pm)

    Thanks for all your efforts TR. Waiting a couple seconds for a page to load or even way longer if a site actually loads is fine. WSDOT’s pages just seems to sit there and fail to load. SDOT’s Traveler Info page and the City of Redmond’s seems to serve up traffic/weather images just fine. Although when I hover over a WSDOT camera at SDOT’s site – guess what? – it’s often blank. For the 10 days a year that WSDOT’s site has massive loads it seems like they could buy some kind of mirroring service to greatly expand capacity on short notice.

  • SJ2 January 17, 2012 (12:51 pm)

    Thanks WSB! I believe she was waiting for the 21. I’ll pass on the link.

  • Patrick January 17, 2012 (1:12 pm)

    Blizzardapalooza can wait until I get home from work, then I will be happy.

  • smokeycretin9 January 17, 2012 (1:18 pm)

    King Co.’s cameras seem to be working, but slow to load:


  • miws January 17, 2012 (1:24 pm)

    Blizzardapalooza FTW!



    • WSB January 17, 2012 (1:31 pm)

      Let’s just wait and see what really happens tonight (or not) before any names. Yet another reason I’m glad to have left TV … don’t have to sit around the newsroom trying to brainstorm the title so we can create a bunch of graphics, etc. (Although I suspect they don’t do that so much any more; lately I’ve seen an awful lot of “December Storm” type basics …) – TR

  • smokeycretin9 January 17, 2012 (1:35 pm)

    Names for Seattle snow 2012-





  • sam-c January 17, 2012 (2:17 pm)

    the name should be

    no-show snow

  • questionable January 17, 2012 (3:26 pm)

    Another overhyped non event brought to you by the news media. You’d think citizens would have learned to ignore crap like this by now. (It’s been sunny downtown for the past two hours).

  • Patrick January 17, 2012 (3:27 pm)

    Make no mistake, even though the models have shifted the storm a little further south, WE WILL see snow later tonight and all day tomorrow, even the lower end of the snow amounts can make for VERY dangerous conditions and now it appears that the Arctic front that was hung up near the border is FINALLY making it’s southward progression. ( In a one hour time frame earlier today, Bellingham dropped from 34 degrees to 22 degrees )IT WILL SNOW, that is certain, and when the Arctic front drops over the rest of the area, we can expect temps to fall rapidly and likely a very hard freeze along with the moderate snow later on, DO NOT let the sunshine or lack of snow right now fool you.

  • Cranky Westie January 17, 2012 (3:34 pm)

    Sweet potatoes! It’s colder outside than it is inside! Maybe we should plan an evacuation? Is it safer in Burien? THINK OF THE CHILDREN! (who were picked up 2 hours early to the frightening sight of no snow and intermittent SUNSHINE!) We at my house are choosing which pet we will eat first (cat is the winner) though we may wait until it actually snows or Safeway closes. Can we get rid of the mayor now or do we have to wait until it snows?

  • Patrick January 17, 2012 (3:37 pm)

    @ WSB, that WILL CHANGE and very quickly as we get into the night time hours

  • Holly January 17, 2012 (3:41 pm)

    @crankie. That was awesome.. Hilarious!!!

  • D1 January 17, 2012 (3:43 pm)

    @Patrick, What are the chances of the low moving a little further north? since they have put this thing all over the place the last couple day? would we get anymore snow if it did?

  • bg January 17, 2012 (3:51 pm)

    D1, I think you are the only one who is actually hanging on Patrick’s every word. Patrick, you have been saying every day that we were going to get feet and feet of snow, and you keep changing your story every single day. Your word is no better than the traditional news, so stop with the caps and the exclamation points, you don’t have any great insight.

  • D1 January 17, 2012 (3:55 pm)

    This is no joke! even if its 10inchs 5inchs or 2. Most likely its going to stick to the roads and thats is gonna make probloms for alot of drivers tomarrow!

  • Holly January 17, 2012 (3:59 pm)

    Damn Bg leave the man alone. Maybe some of us like hearing his forecast. And that just it – it’s just a forecast and we all are hear to discus and join in on the snow talk. Ignore it if you don’t like it. What do u care if people believe it or not. Blahahahah you let some stranger on a blog get u in a tissie.

    • WSB January 17, 2012 (4:08 pm)

      I will add (a) please be kind to each other. Lack of kindness can lead to deletion. (b) The scaling back of the forecast is pretty much what EVERY weatherperson in this town, whether our guest commenter or the six-digit-salary guys at the TV stations or the government-employed ones have done. It looked serious. The alarm had to be sounded. Within another 12 hours or so, we’ll finally know what the end result was!

  • D1 January 17, 2012 (4:00 pm)

    we cant trust the computer models untell the low moves ashore so im not banking on any forecast untell i see that happen. I remember a lot of storms that ended up a lot more snow then what was forecasted! And this storm looks big so im gonna prep for the worst!

  • Darrell Brown January 17, 2012 (4:01 pm)

    It was HORRIBLE in Kansas City this past Sunday – mid sixties and sunny. Boy am I glad that I am a retired Boeing employee; (worked in Plant 2 on East Marginal Way in group 2-65??)

  • sam-c January 17, 2012 (4:02 pm)

    it’s 38 degrees and the wind is blowing from south to north- still waiting for the arctic blast.

  • Patrick January 17, 2012 (4:10 pm)

    @ bg, I base my posts on variables at play at any given time in the atmosphere and so when I or any other meteorologist changes the forecast what seems like ( At Will ) it’s because the models and the conditions foretasted change constantly, this area of the country is the hardest to forecast b/c of the Pacific Ocean and so with that in mind, it is VERY hard to pinpoint exactly what will happen. I am just a messenger NOT a weather god. If you feel the need to criticize me then please do in a tactful way but please don not attack me personally for something I have absolutely no control over. I should also add that when a forecast doesn’t pan out like originally planned all those involved in forecasting are to blame, NOT just one person. With that said, Please try and let the impending snowfall lift your spirits a bit ok ?

  • Aman January 17, 2012 (4:11 pm)

    Patrick, Thank You for your insights. I appreciate your “plain weather speak” along with that of the WSB Editors. I am informed & prepared thanks to you all.

  • Patrick January 17, 2012 (4:25 pm)

    @ Aman, you’re welcome

  • Tony January 17, 2012 (5:19 pm)

    I also appreciate Patrick and his excellent insights.

  • Lisa January 17, 2012 (5:54 pm)

    gooberdog – you ask what is the function of the #21 snow shuttle bus, it take the route of 35th Ave Sw & Barton, turns right on 26th Ave to Roxbury and then takes a right on Roxbury, drives up Roxbury and back to 35th Ave and drives around the Arbor Heights loop along Marine View Drive and does it over and over again. And it is free. You catch the regular #21 bus on Barton & 35th heading downtown Seattle. You catch the Snow Shuttle near Target at Roxhill Park. Answer your question?

  • Swiss miss January 17, 2012 (5:58 pm)

    Thank you Patrick! Yours is a fascinating and tricky profession and any insite is appreciated :)

  • Ajax January 17, 2012 (6:08 pm)

    As I read through more and more of these weather-related comments I’m envisioning angry villagers with pitchforks and torches storming the National Weather Service demanding to have the correct forecast for their exact street address. I’ve seen the same behavior on the Gulf Coast with hurricanes. It seems some people would rather a catastrophic event than being warned about something that ends up minimally affecting them. Look at the bright side, at least no one in Seattle had to spend 15 hours in their car evacuating 200 miles.

Sorry, comment time is over.