WEST SEATTLE SNOW: Here’s the official alert for Friday-Saturday storm, plus a prediction of more beyond that

(Salted 35th SW just north of SW Thistle, photographed this afternoon)

ORIGINAL REPORT, 5:44 PM WEDNESDAY: The National Weather Service has now issued an official alert for the next round of expected snow, Friday-Saturday – which might be just the first round! See the Special Weather Statement in its entirety here. It includes:

… This system will bring a round of widespread lowland snow and strong northeast outflow winds from the Fraser River Valley. Expected impacts with this system include: Cold temperatures, snow-covered roads, strong outflow winds and blowing snow for portions of the area.

Precipitation will spread from the north to the south beginning Friday morning. Temperatures will be cold enough for snow Friday from Everett northward, with a rain/snow mix south of Everett. Precipitation will transition to snow over the remainder of the interior as the cold outflow from the Fraser River Valley works through the remainder of the interior by late Friday night.

Variable snowfall totals are expected, with snow peaking early Saturday morning. The most likely snow accumulations include 3-4″ over most of the lowlands, with heavier amounts possible for the Hood Canal area, the north Olympic Peninsula, and the north interior including the San Juan Islands. Cold ground temperatures over the lowlands may enhance initial accumulations. …

Weather analyst Cliff Mass sees the potential for up to 8″ around the Sound – here’s his take, including even more snow likely Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday, concluding:

SDOT, WSDOT, and other local departments of transportation need to get prepared for perhaps the snowiest period since the large snowfall of December 1996, when Seattle received 21 inches.

But tomorrow is expected to be snowless, so now’s the time to start getting ready!

THURSDAY MORNING UPDATE: Still looking snowless today – the upgraded Winter Storm Watch alert kicks in at noon Friday.

18 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE SNOW: Here's the official alert for Friday-Saturday storm, plus a prediction of more beyond that"

  • Chuck February 6, 2019 (6:18 pm)

    1996? As I recall, the winter of 2008 was every bit the snowy butt-kicker, as the snow was spread out over many days/storms and we had snow on the ground for what, 10 to 14 days? It may not have been the volume of ’96, but it was the one that locked this city up tight. If we have levels to either of those storms, watch out. I was not a bus rider back in those days, and now that I am I’ll be laying in an extra supply of goods. The added volume of bodies is exposing all of Metro’s many shortcomings. As evidenced by the cancellation of the 4:33 116X tonight without notice. The 119 was a tuna can. Metro and snow = No Go. 

    • T February 6, 2019 (6:53 pm)

      It was bad in 1996 and 2008 as far as roads and trash, recycling, and clean green not being picked up, etc. Much worse in 2008. Some areas of WS hadn’t been sanded or plowed in 2 weeks. People had weeks worth of garbage sitting at their curbs. Animals got into it and it wasn’t pretty and it stunk! People were upset and rightly so. It’s only going to be worse now that there are so many more people here. SDOT doesn’t want to invest in more snow plows because we only get this big dump of snow every 10 years or so. I understand that but it sure is frustrating. Still, lets hope “lessons learned” reports from the past are being reviewed ahead of the next potential storm. 

    • JR February 6, 2019 (6:54 pm)

      2012 was pretty ugly as well, but we didn’t have the ice storm in between snow storms that we had in 2008. It took me 5 hours yesterday to get from Admiral to Northgate on the bus and a ton of routes into WS from downtown were still canceled tonight, even with clear roads. My job kindly enlisted a car dealership to come pick us up and shuttle us to work on Monday if we couldn’t make it in, but knowing that I might be stuck at work and unable to get home to feed my pets was enough for me to skip that. 

  • Gina February 6, 2019 (6:55 pm)

    The thaw and urban flooding after the 1996 snow is what really stands out in my mind.

    • Herongrrrl February 6, 2019 (10:41 pm)

      Oh yes, I remember wading through my neighborhood with a shovel to clear debris from.the storm drains, when all that snow seemed to thaw at once!Somewhere I also have a photo of 6 Metro buses stuck in the dip at the Fauntleroy Ferry dock, which I took to prove to my boss that I really couldn’t make it to work during that storm.

  • Railroaded February 6, 2019 (7:09 pm)

    You bet. 2008 was a bad one. Just  ask Mayor Nickels…

  • GWS February 6, 2019 (7:29 pm)

    Maybe there will be too much snow for the city to salt the Charlestown Hill?  I suppose they do this now for liability reasons, but it was a fun gathering spot for previous snowmageddon’s

    • Mike February 6, 2019 (11:22 pm)

      They just leave the road closed signs there.  They don’t try to salt and plow the hill as it’s never safe when that icy. The neighbor at the bottom has had to replace their fence enough times over the years.

      • GWS February 6, 2019 (11:33 pm)

        I live on the hill and watched on Monday morning (and this morning) as the salt truck went up and down the hill spreading salt (even with the road closed signs in place on Monday).  This is relatively recent behavior from SDOT (started 3 or 4 years ago).

  • Community Member February 6, 2019 (8:26 pm)

    The 1996 snow wasn’t just deep, it was also sopping wet, and very, very heavy. No fluffy light powder. The weight collapsed part of Crossroads mall’s roof in Bellevue, collapsed boat shelters at marinas, and more. The weight didn’t just break tree limbs, but knocked over many large trees, contributing to numerous land slides in the area over the 1996-1997 winter.  I remember all of that because we were in the middle of adopting a baby from out of state, and offices were closed and unable to process the paperwork.

  • Trickycoolj February 6, 2019 (8:28 pm)

    I remember living in the rural Pierce County suburbs back in 96 and we lost power for days and drove all the way to Tacoma to find any restaurant and gas with power. Kenny Rogers Roasters never tasted so good.  I’m looking forward to a good old fashioned snowpocalypse but I hope the power stays on.   More importantly has anyone drawn up a ski run map for West Seattle? I don’t have climbing skins but I definitely would love to say I skied in the city! 

  • J242 February 6, 2019 (8:30 pm)

    I’m flying down to Texas on Friday afternoon and was originally scheduled to fly back up landing Monday night around 9:30pm, I’m going to be keep a close eye on this as I really do not want to be stuck at Sea-Tac for a day or more again if the transit infrastructure breaks down. 

  • miws February 6, 2019 (8:35 pm)

    I remember the one in 1996.  Started on a Monday, afternoon I believe, and hung around for at least the entire work week. Was also a big one in December 1990. That one also hit in the afternoon. I believe it started out downtown rather light around lunchtime and was coming down pretty good by around 2:00 pm. Just in time for afternoon peak. As I recall, the weather forecast for all or most of the entire week was calling for snow, and when it didn’t show up people stopped believing the forecasters, so “everybody” drove in on the day it actually hit. After trying to duck out of work 15 minutes early at 3:45, it took me something like 30 minutes to get the 1/2 block from the parking garage I worked and parked at, up to the intersection due to other drivers “blocking the box”. So I came up with a Plan “B” to, instead of turning left,  go straight across the intersection and continue to another parking garage the company I worked for ran, park there, and kill a couple hours of time. Went back and salted/shoveled the exposed entry ramp at the place I worked. Traffic seemed to be loosening up where I was by around 7:00 pm, so hopped in the car and headed down to 1st to get onto the viaduct southbound. All of that went pretty well, I was even doing okay on 99 for a bit, and then I think it was about the viaduct dropped down to ground-level it came to a quick stop. Was stop & go for about 1 1/2 hours until I exited to the high bridge (the “new” low bridge was under construction, so no other option for crossing that part of the Duwamish). The drive over the highrise was eerie; I don’t recall seeing a single westbound car underway, just several abandoned cars and buses alongside.  Light or so snow was still coming down, giving an almost foggy feel against the streetlights on the bridge. Finally got home by 9:00pm, I think. In the ’96 snow, I no longer had a car, so was back to riding the bus. After an entire workweek of late, packed buses I decided to catch the next bus that would bet me across the bridge, instead of waiting for the 54X or 54 regular that I would normally take. I was walking down Union St, to 1st, to where I would have the greatest option of West Seattle routes. Turned around as I was walking and saw a 20 Delridge. Decided to hop that, thinking I could transfer on Spokane St on the W.S. side. forgetting it no longer stopped right under there as (I believe) it did years before.  Got off at its first stop at Delridge & Andover, and decided to walk home from there to the Fairmount Park/N. Morgan Junction area. Stopped at a buddy’s place at 36th & Genesee for a quick rest, and ended staying there longer than planned drinking (several) hot buttered rums! Made for a very exciting rest of the walk home! —Mike 

    • Pelicans February 7, 2019 (4:37 am)

      Mike,I always enjoy your stories. I hope you and others will contribute oral histories to the Loghouse Museum. (SWHS)I was here from ’85 to ’89, and then came back to stay in ’99.The snow in Nov. ’85 caught everyone by surprise. 9″in the afternoon (a Wednesday, I think),  and it hadn’t been predicted. I’d never driven in snow before, and my little VW bug didn’t care for it at all. Hwy 99 and the hills in Riverton Heights, now Seatac, were not plowed, sanded or salted. More snow came a day or two later, for a total of over a foot. And the temps stayed down. It compacted to ice and the city was paralyzed. If I rember correctly, we had snow most years after that, especially in winter/spring of ’89. I remember driving I-5 to Shoreline  at about 4 in the morning to pick up a friend, and spinning out on the ice going into downtown. I was the only car on the road in both directions. We drove to Ocean Shores to volunteer for cleanup of an oil spill on the beaches there. Snow on the ground most of the way. We walked the beaches, picking up sea life, and helped wash seabirds at the emergency site set up at the OS Convention Center.

  • Community Member February 6, 2019 (9:12 pm)

    During the December 1990 event, school bus drivers  had to turn around and take their passengers back to school because roads were impassable. Thousands of kids stayed at school overnight. 

  • GWS February 7, 2019 (9:18 am)

    Perhaps we should build a big, beautiful wall across the northern border to prevent the unimpeded entry of these storms into WA ;-).

  • Elizabeth February 7, 2019 (10:42 am)

    Yes, 2008 was pretty bad as the ice was crazy on alki Ave, Harbor and Beach Dr. I remember having to have 4 wheel drive to go anywhere lowland. It was over the holidays and I remember too that I could not get to my parents who live at the top of Charleston and 53rd…Wow, here we go again.

    • sam-c February 7, 2019 (11:26 am)

      I remember that 2008 snow storm so well; so many stories… During that storm, we had AWD, but it was useless.  We couldn’t get off of our street.  The pile of snow accumulated between the tire ‘tracks’ was so tall, our car couldn’t clear it. Yes it was during the holidays.  It was fun at first, but as the 2 weeks of being trapped went on, it got bad..

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