WEST SEATTLE WEATHER: Evening thunderstorm, with power outages

(Lightning over Elliott Bay, photographed by Mark McAndrews)

8:08 PM: Lightning, thunder, downpour. Power flickers too but nothing on the City Light map so far. In a short-term forecast alert, the National Weather Service says this could go on another hour or so.

8:18 PM: Two spots now mapped with outages – 35th/Barton (Upper Fauntleroy to the west of there) and The Arroyos. … Lots of tweets capturing the sights and sounds, like this one:

And this:

8:34 PM: Thunder and lightning continue. More scattered outages on the City Light map in several West Seattle spots, with at least 200 out.

8:48 PM: Adding more visuals – thanks to everyone who’s emailed, texted, tweeted. (First clip below is from Paul Nicholson:)

Per scanner, signal now out at 35th/Alaska.

9:04 PM: The NWS says the area had 200+ lightning strikes between 8 and 8:45 pm.

9:22 PM: Here, screengrabbed from the SCL map for posterity, are all the spots with outages – adding up to 200-ish customers (residences/businesses) best as we can tell:

Region-wide, SCL has 101 outages mapped right now affecting 1,100+ customers. And the thunder continues!

9:33 PM: Commenter Michelle says her flight into Sea-Tac was diverted to Bellingham because of the storm. And via Twitter, Tony says his flight from Billings was diverted to Spokane.

9:52 PM: Sounds like (from the lack of thunder) the storm might finally have moved on. Meantime, a few pets have been lost/found during the storm – we’re adding listings to the WSB Lost/Found Pets page as they come in.

10:54 PM: SCL says it’s working to get to all the outages – the number of which has increased since the storm moved north. Meantime, more photos – first, from Marc Milrod:

And from Kersti Muul:

The NWS now counts the number of lightning strikes in Western Washington at ~1,250 over 3 1/2 hours.

2:35 AM: Adding up the numbers on the many mapped pocket outages around West Seattle, looks like about 400 customers are still without electricity.

12:26 PM SUNDAY: And they’re still out. SCL’s map now shows 174 individual outages around its service area, totaling more than 1,400 customers.

9:34 PM SUNDAY: We’re tracking continuing outages here.

73 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE WEATHER: Evening thunderstorm, with power outages"

  • Go inside September 7, 2019 (8:12 pm)

    Any high school football games at WS stadium or SW Athletic Complex right now?

  • Cjboffoli September 7, 2019 (8:15 pm)

    Seems like Centurylink fiber is out in South Admiral now. First time I’ve had an outage with this service since I got it in 2015. I love electrical storms though. Didn’t realize how much I’ve missed them.

    • rsws September 7, 2019 (8:25 pm)

      I live south of Hanford near the high school and my fiber is working…

      • cjboffoli September 7, 2019 (9:15 pm)

        RSWS:  It may have just been my house. I’ve got super-sensitive, combo ground fault/arc fault breakers and I just discovered a few of them had been tripped by one of the brown outs, including the one that powers the fiber entry point on the outside of the house.

    • Mary O’Connor September 7, 2019 (8:39 pm)

      I love them too!  

    • West Seattle since 1979 September 7, 2019 (9:15 pm)

      This is off-topic, but could someone tell me how you are able to get fiber from CenturyLink? I keep being told it’d not available in my area (36th and Genesee).

      • cjboffoli September 7, 2019 (10:55 pm)

        Huh. I’ve had Centurylink fiber since October 2015.  I can’t say it was easy. Apparently I was one of the first on my block to get it and I recall it taking many calls over a month to navigate the bureaucracy of the order, the “cable drop”, the install, etc.  They kept taking the order and setting up an install date which would come and go with no one showing up and I’d call to find out that there was no record of the order. This happened multiple times. It was nuts. But in any case, with all of the different trucks I’ve seen spooling out fiber though my alley in the past four years it is hard to believe that it wouldn’t be available at 36th & Genesee. I have to say that despite the huge installation hassle it has been trouble free ever since. The 1 gig symmetrical connection is pretty sweet.

        • West Seattle since 1979 September 8, 2019 (1:37 am)

          Thanks for answering! I guess I just need to keep on trying.

          • Andy September 8, 2019 (10:57 am)

            There is an online tool to check if it is available at your address. I recently had it installed (Stevens and 49th) and it was a breeze. Way faster speeds and cheaper than xfinity! If you call they often have specials too, I got a $150 visa prepaid card after paying 3 bills on time. 

  • Matt September 7, 2019 (8:15 pm)

    We just lost power in a pocket in Higland Park.

  • Z. September 7, 2019 (8:16 pm)

    Some outages at 35th Ave and SW Barton.

  • Tina September 7, 2019 (8:17 pm)

    Huge explosion, power out in Fauntlee Hills

  • Sal September 7, 2019 (8:20 pm)

    I heard a transformer blow near 37th and 98th.

  • Stacie September 7, 2019 (8:21 pm)

    We are without power near 37th and Barton. There was a massive explosion sound – much louder than the thunder and then power went out. I think a transformer may have been hit.

  • Delridge Resident September 7, 2019 (8:21 pm)

    About 15 minutes ago there was a simultaneous bright flash and bang as loud as a bomb. Several individual houses out on 19th and Austin SW, most other houses and streetlights still on. 

  • Suzanne September 7, 2019 (8:22 pm)

    UW game started at 7. Think it’s suspended now. 

  • J. September 7, 2019 (8:22 pm)

    Our apartnent building lost power. We are on 35th Ave and SW Barton.

    • Jean September 7, 2019 (9:20 pm)

      We’re on 35th and between Barton and Henderson. Got lucky. Our power is still on. Except for the woman who got stuck in the elevator when something exploded. Not so lucky. But firemen came to her rescue. So we’ve only lost our elevator for now. 

  • Pr September 7, 2019 (8:22 pm)

    Pretty sure transformer was hit next to our house on 35th I’ve never seen or heard something like that and my cell phone charger shocked me then dark. 

  • David September 7, 2019 (8:27 pm)

    I have lived in Seattle almost all of my 65 years and can only think of one storm with this intensity – the Columbus Day Storm in the 60’s. Our UPS power protection has come on several times already due to City Light power bumps. I feel truly sorry for those out there who cannot escape the storm.

    • P September 7, 2019 (11:07 pm)

      Mike/MIWS,In all your time here, do you remember any storm like this?Betsy

      • miws September 8, 2019 (6:33 am)

        Betsy, no, I don’t! Certainly not in the past 6 1/2+ years in my current W.S. location of South Delridge.  I have slept through other thunderstorms, and police/fire responses that have resulted in large callouts with a lot of sirens, in which commenters here on WSB were saying they were startled awake.  But, if *this* one had happened overnight, I have a hunch it would have awakened me!  —Mike

        • Pelicans September 8, 2019 (1:03 pm)

          Thanks Mike :-)

    • Ray September 8, 2019 (11:59 am)

      Yes I remember that storm,  sank the Hood canal bridge didn’t it.. I believe the wind storm was 70 miles an hour with gusts up to 100.. but that was quite a while ago.

  • OolonColuphid September 7, 2019 (8:37 pm)

    Power is out at 8800 block of 36th

  • Tom September 7, 2019 (8:39 pm)

    I’m a 50 year resident. I don’t ever recall a thunderstorm this active in Seattle. 

    • OolonColuphid September 7, 2019 (8:51 pm)

      Yeah, I’ve never seen anything like this before.

    • West Seattle since 1979 September 7, 2019 (8:51 pm)

      It does seem extreme for Seattle! Reminds me of the thunderstorms I remember from growing up in Michigan.

    • Erithan September 7, 2019 (9:59 pm)

      Nope, 35 years living here, I’ve never seen anything like this that I can recall. Just wow!

    • Pelicans September 7, 2019 (10:41 pm)

      August 3rd, 1999, the day I flew into Seattle from Hawaii. In the dark, we passed over t-storms from the coast near Westport (?)all the way to Seatac, to land at about 5am. Took a cab about 8am to Auburn to pick up my shipped car. T-storms all the way there and driving back to hotel in Seatac. They continued until nightfall, as I remember. Was here from ’85 to ’89 and the hot summer of ’86  are the next biggest lightning storms I can remember…

  • Jethro Marx September 7, 2019 (8:41 pm)

    I am reporting, without any implicit opinion on the situation, that someone set off a large firework near the cow store. Its very faint bleat made me laugh, but feel free to be outraged on my behalf. Right now there’s some freaky constructive interference thunder- one cannot buy that at the stands. #petsarentpeople

    • ? September 7, 2019 (9:38 pm)


    • Jill Loblaw September 8, 2019 (9:35 am)

  • Pelicans September 7, 2019 (8:44 pm)

    What a show!  Our parents used to tell us it was little men bowling up on the sky :-)

    • Pelicans September 7, 2019 (10:32 pm)

      …bowling up IN the sky…

  • Goldengirl September 7, 2019 (8:56 pm)

    Summer thunder storm fabulous 

  • Sarah September 7, 2019 (8:57 pm)

    Seems like sewers are backing up in our area. I am near 35th and Morgan and we had water come up through a basement drain in a way we never saw before 

    • montanapup September 7, 2019 (9:53 pm)

      Yes! I’m on the other side, Beach and 62nd, same with the basement drain. Very odd!

  • Joey September 7, 2019 (9:19 pm)

    My wife was driving across the bridge right after it started. She said she witnessed an accident, almost a dozen lightning strikes right around her, and that one of them struck the factory near the West Seattle Health Club and it looked like something around there was on fire afterwards.

  • Kc September 7, 2019 (9:21 pm)

    Does not a Royal Flush beat a Full House

  • Michelle C September 7, 2019 (9:23 pm)

    Our plane from Anchorage circled over Seattle for awhile, then got diverted to Bellingham. I just want to go home and close the window I left cracked open! 😨 The storm looked pretty cool from up here tho.

  • Andrew September 7, 2019 (9:27 pm)

    My wife and I were driving home and saw this dog run across California near the Rite Aid in the pouring rain and thunder. Looked lost so pulled over. Very scared and no tag so we picked him up and are calling him ‘Thunder’. He’s super sweet. Text me at 206 399 7957 if yours or someone you know. 

    • WSB September 7, 2019 (9:32 pm)

      Posted already on our Lost/Found Pets page – thank you!

    • Calires September 8, 2019 (2:38 am)

      Thanks for being a nice person.  The photos indicate that he’s been groomed recently, so I’m guessing he has people looking for him.  

    • Luvsseattle September 9, 2019 (1:42 pm)

      This was seen on the condo’s across from Riteaid today. I’ve also noticed the posting in the lost and found here. 

  • Htb September 7, 2019 (9:30 pm)

    Many Shuvs & Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you

    • Chuck September 8, 2019 (12:59 am)

      Thank you for this, Key Master.  Zuul is pleased with you. 

  • Erithan September 7, 2019 (9:44 pm)

    Anyone else just hear a non lightning boom? I’m near Cali/Alaska junction.

    • Olivist September 7, 2019 (10:02 pm)

      I think i heard that too.  West of junction/ Genesee hill. 

    • Jon Wright September 7, 2019 (10:18 pm)

      Yes. I’m just west of Alaska Junction.

  • Montanapup September 7, 2019 (9:47 pm)

    Here by Beach Drive and 61st and breaker tripped for half the house, basement sewer back flow!

  • montanapup September 7, 2019 (9:51 pm)

    Came home to half the house out due to breaker blown and back flow in the basement! Anyone else in the Beach and 62nd area have this also?

  • Trickycoolj September 7, 2019 (9:58 pm)

    Stuck at Husky Stadium. Lightning all around us, evacuated to the concourses and power went out for a while. Many choosing to leave. Still announcing game will resume 30 min after last strike in 8mi radius. Parked at the end of the light rail by the airport and no idea how we’ll get back if this game really goes on.  Only made it to 9min in the 1st. 

    • WSB September 7, 2019 (9:59 pm)

      Scanner traffic (police handling traffic/crowd for the game) indicated they were aiming for 10:30 pm. Definitely been a while since the thunder stopped here. Good luck!

    • carole September 8, 2019 (12:57 am)

      It was also high school band night at the UW game.  Many of the schools bailed after hours of sheltering.  At 11p some were still in busses trying to get out of the parking lot. Band day/night is a big deal for them and it was a disappointment.

  • Bradley September 7, 2019 (10:37 pm)

    Best West Seattle thunderstorm I’ve seen in the 30 years I’ve lived here. We really got nuked here in Arbor Heights. That was midwest-level lightning.

  • Fauntleroy Brent September 8, 2019 (12:32 am)

    https://youtu.be/GVWVykhxqYYCaptured this in Seattle tonight.  I was using the iPhone. 240 frames per second

    • West Seattle since 1979 September 8, 2019 (1:34 am)


    • Also John September 8, 2019 (9:34 am)

      Were those voices in the background????

    • Mary September 8, 2019 (3:00 pm)

      This is amazing- best time lapse recording ever!

  • Sparky September 8, 2019 (7:21 am)

    About five years ago, about this time of year,  there was a daytime micro lightning storm over North Beacon Hill. It took out about 50 transformers. That’s the only thing that I’ve seen that compares to this. But it was pretty cool while it lasted. I haven’t seen something like this since I was a kid back in Iowa. 

  • AMD September 8, 2019 (7:49 am)

    NWS gave an estimated lightning strike count (via tweet) of 2200 in Western Washington between 6pm and 11pm.  An average of 7 or 8 a minute, plus rain falling at a rate of 1/2″ per hour at one point.  I’m actually feeling really good about our infrastructure that so few lost power considering how much activity there was.

  • 2 Much Whine September 8, 2019 (8:51 am)

    Best post ever.

  • AW September 8, 2019 (12:07 pm)

    Uh oh…our power just went out in the Arroyos!  I figured we were in the clear after last night!

    • WSB September 8, 2019 (12:24 pm)

      A good chunk of that area was mapped as out when last I checked around 4 am. No new outage showing yet but there’s usually a lag …

  • Karl September 8, 2019 (12:42 pm)

    At Peace Lutheran Church power went out about 7:30pm as our light timers indicate. Still out at 6am at first check. This mornings service was by candlelight call to city light at 6am rep said could be 6pm???? Maybe

  • Christine Virginia Numrich September 8, 2019 (1:12 pm)

    I don’t think there was near that much thunder and lightning during Columbus Day storm…I am a 58 year old native…I’ve never seen any storm to compare…after the first 15 minutes I knew it would be a record setter…UNREAL for this area. of the PNW!

  • DD September 8, 2019 (3:53 pm)

    I remember a storm in 1980 or 81 that was even more intense….the lightening never seemed to stop and the thunder was so loud we could feel the vibrations in our guts and in the house…very windy too.  I was staying at a friend’s house in Bellevue/Redmond and we were terrified.  Tall trees around the house …so we decided to hunker down on the floor  and hoped that taller furniture would shield us if one of the trees came down. 

  • Graciano September 8, 2019 (7:33 pm)

    That was probably one of the best lightning storms I can remember in puget sound…The last one like this was in the late 60’s when I was a kid…, I did like that one so much.

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