West Seattle, Washington
If you have to drive on this soggy afternon, a few words of warning:
4:23 PM: That’s a reader photo from another crash near the west end of the westbound West Seattle Bridge a couple hours ago. It’s not the only one we’ve heard of since the rain began in earnest – no major injuries reported but as discussed amply here in recent months, it seems to be a relatively frequent trouble spot. Meantime, a Flood Advisory remains in effect, warning of, among other things, urban ponding:
That’s one example – a big “pond” we photographed this morning (after a reader tip) just west of Delridge/Sylvan/Orchard. Often this is the result of a clogged drain – still lots of leaves coming off trees – so you can report it to Seattle Public Utilities at 206-386-1800.
11:18 PM: Another crash toward the west end of the westbound bridge a short time ago. The circumstances of this one might have further complications, though, as police have told dispatchers that both cars were unoccupied.
9:55 AM: West Seattle escaped major power outages when the wind swept through for a few hours this morning – but there is one 27-customer outage on the Seattle City Light map, and that tree is the reason. Thanks to David for sending the photo and reporting, “We didn’t totally escape unscathed from last night’s wind storm. The wind knocked down a tree in the back of the apartments at 5220 California at around 3 am. So far that building and the ones behind it are out of power – no word from SFD or SCL on when they are coming to address the downed power lines.” Let us know if you are seeing any other storm damage – here in Upper Fauntleroy, a tree-sized branch came off a big evergreen, but landed harmlessly on an unoccupied planting strip. As for the weather, partly sunny and calm right now, but more major rain is on the way by tomorrow.
1:10 PM: That outage is fixed. But it wasn’t the only big tree brought down early today:
That photo is from Seaview resident Kaci, who says, “We lost a big beautiful Aspen tree during the windstorm last night. It fell at about 3 am. No major damage to our house except our rain gutters. Our catio didn’t fare so well.”
4:55 PM: A commenter notes that the first situation isn’t entirely resolved, and indeed, a new marker on the outage map shows that.
The National Weather Service‘s map of alerts has a bit of everything around the state. In our area, that mocha color signifies a Wind Advisory alert – scheduled to be in effect overnight, 11 pm to 6 am. The NWS says you should plan for “South winds 30 to 35 mph with gusts up to 50 mph.” Though the advisory currently only lasts until 6 am, the forecast suggests it’ll continue to be breezy and – at times – rainy after sunrise. If you’re by the water, high tide tomorrow morning is high but not extraordinarily so – 11.9 feet at 9:17 am.
Thanks for the photos! Above, Rick Dolezal sent that view with the observation, “Weather watching on Beach Drive is always awesome. This weather phenomenon occurred this morning over the water across from Emma Schmitz Overlook.” Below, Darlene Allen photographed “interesting fog”:
And earlier, from Constellation Park, Pelicans photographed fog flowing over the ridge:
Bonus close-up view: “Spider art” seen by Rosalie Miller:
Thanks as always to everyone who sends photos, from weather views to breaking news (and it’s just about time for Christmas lights, too!) – best way is email, email@example.com, but text works too, particularly when it’s urgent – 206-293-6302.
The sunbreak might be a great time to do this if you can – thanks to Kevin Freitas for the photos and reminder:
A reminder for folks able, please consider clearing a storm drain or two near you, especially in places where people need to walk, roll, or take transit.
I cleared the bus lane near 35th/Avalon as it was a lake and a few other nearby spots.
And remember that it’s still “extra yard waste at no extra charge” month.
10:26 AM: After a blustery night, 134 West Seattle homes are dealing with a power outage. The power went out just after 5:30 am in the area shown in the Seattle City Light outage-map screengrab above, parts of Brace Point and Arbor Heights. SCL blames the outage on a tree.
3:28 PM: Just checked the map for the first time in a few hours; the outage is down to 21 customers.
7:47 PM: Since that last look, everyone’s been reconnected, per the map.
11:59 AM: Temperatures are dropping back to the seasonably chilly range, so if you know or see someone who needs a place to get out of the cold, Keith Hughes just let us know that he plans to open the Westside Neighbors Shelter for overnight stays tonight and tomorrow night. That’s the shelter in the West Seattle Veteran Center/American Legion Post 160 building (3618 SW Alaska). Its hours are on the shelter’s website. (That’s also where you’ll find word of a Veterans Day event dedicating a Peace Pole at the building, as well as a benefit concert at Kenyon Hall on December 2 to raise money to keep this donation-and-volunteer-powered shelter running.)
3:23 PM: We asked Keith if the shelter is in immediate need of any particular donated items. Yes – stocking caps and cotton gloves.
Two reader reports related to our wet weather:
TOPPLED TREE: Mike Munson sent the photo and report:
A tree at the southeast corner of Gatewood School broke off at its rotten base and fell against the school. It didn’t fall far but that looks like a lot of weight against the building/roof. There was a crew there figuring out what to do when we walked by at 4:30. This is the same tree that had a big piece break away about a year ago, which tore off an electrical connection to the commercial building just to the east of the school.
Here’s our story about that previous tree trouble.
WHERE TO GET SANDBAGS: In case you need them before the next deluge, Rosalie Miller shares what she found out:
I just returned from the South Park address listed on the county’s website to get free sandbags [731 S. Sullivan]. There are plenty of bags remaining. The county asks that you take no more than 25 bags per household. There are no bags being distributed at the Delridge Community Center this year. You will need to load the bags yourself and each weighs approximately 35 – 40#.
No, the forecast isn’t for temperatures THAT low, though it’s cooled down a bit from last week, but you might see a snowplow. SDOT says it’s having “a snowplow training exercise” today and tomorrow, to make sure the equipment’s working and that drivers know their routes. SDOT’s announcement explains:
During this practice run, SDOT snowplow drivers travel the specific routes they would clear during and after a real snow and ice storm, following a network of pre-identified arterial streets all across the city. This helps drivers be familiar with the latest street conditions. At the same time, other City of Seattle specialists ensure vehicles, equipment, and supplies are where they need to be at several maintenance facilities in Seattle.
SDOT says Seattle Public Utilities and Parks drivers are also cross-trained to drive snowplows. Here are some links to save in case of snow:
10:28 AM: On what was already a stormy morning, a band of thunderstorms is moving through. The National Weather Service says there’s a chance of more throughout the day and into the evening. And a wind alert takes effect shortly – from 11 am until 6 pm, the NWS has a Wind Advisory for our area: “Southwest winds 15 to 25 mph with gusts 35 to 45 mph expected. Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects. Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result.” If a tree falls and blocks public right-of-way, you can report it to SDOT’s after-hours dispatch, 206-386-1218. (Then please let us know too if you can – 206-293-6302 is our round-the-clock text/voice hotline.)
10:59 AM: If you missed the intense burst of rain – check out Elizabeth‘s brief but dramatic video of a West Seattle stairway becoming a waterfall:
That’s across from the Fauntleroy ferry dock.
11:15 AM: The thundershowers have left behind some major puddling. A texter warns the recurring trouble spot by the Delridge entrance to the bridge has it. Another texter says Admiral/California has some flooding (added: video)
And we received this photo from the midblock crosswalk in The Junction between Oregon and Alaska:
Clogged drains in the street are addressed by Seattle Public Utilities but if there’s one you can safely clear by your home or business, give it a try as they’re likely, pardon the phrase, backed up.
12:19 PM: That’s exactly what the neighbors at the infamous-for-clogging Fauntleroy/Raymond intersection did – Frank sent the photos and report:
The neighbors at Fauntleroy and Raymond banded together and drained Lake FaunRay!
(added) Ryan sent this video of rainwater rushing westbound down Avalon near 35th:
Thanks to everyone for the photos, video, and updates (in comments too) – we’re in a break right now but forecasters say more is on the way.
Before tonight’s full moonrise, this morning brought a beautiful almost-full moonset. Thanks to Chris Frankovich for the photo above and James Bratsanos for the photo below. No weather alerts tonight, but morning lows are still expected to drop into the 30s until clouds and rain return, currently forecast for Tuesday/Wednesday.
Tomorrow’s moonset is 8:59 am, so it’ll be a little too light for views like those.
ADDED: Tonight’s full moon, photographed by Jerry Simmons:
2:29 PM: Thanks to Lynn Hall for that photo of the Olympics this morning, seen in their fall/winter coat (of snow) for the first time this season. Here in the lowlands, colder weather is approaching, and the National Weather Service has issued two alerts: a Frost Advisory for midnight tonight until 9 am Friday, a Freeze Watch for late Friday night through Saturday morning. The NWS explains: “For the Frost Advisory, temperatures as low as 34 will result in frost formation. For the Freeze Watch, sub-freezing temperatures as low as 30 (are) possible.”
P.S. Also remember that the cold weather means West Seattle’s volunteer-and-donation-powered emergency shelter is opening – we’ll be checking back to see what’s still on the wish list.
3:51 PM: One more great view of the snowy Olympics, this one sent by David Hutchinson:
It was a day full of off-on rain … but also multiple rainbow sightings. Thanks to everyone who sent photos! Above, an end-of-day Alki photo from Lisa Murphy; below, from Robin Sinner:
Stewart L. captured the downtown skyline beneath a rainbow:
And Manuel photographed the meeting of rainbow, state ferry, and cruise ship:
Still a chance of more showers through tomorrow, and then the forecast clears up for a while, possibly sunny and near 70 degrees on Thursday!
Thanks to Murphy McCullough for the photo from Upper Alki! Amazing clouds this past hour or so as another storm wave sweeps through. The forecast calls for continuing unsettled weather – possibly some thunderstorms in the hours too.
ADDED TUESDAY EVENING: We also got a different angle from Dan Ciske:
Thanks to Jan Pendergrass (above) and James Bratsanos (below) for the photos of Labor Day Weekend 2023’s first sunset.
The forecast says tomorrow will be the sunniest, warmest day of the weekend, with a high near 80. Then the cooler, cloudier weather rolls back in.
The weekend “heat advisory” alert has expired as of 8 pm, and the forecast suggests we’re on track for a cooldown, with a high in the 70s tomorrow, the 60s Tuesday – when, the National Weather Service says, “temperatures will be their coolest since June” – and possible showers/thundershowers inbetween. In the meantime, some smoke lingers, as air-quality readings underscore.
6:50 PM: If you have a westward view like the one we photographed from Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook, you know the Olympics have gone temporarily missing again behind a smoky haze. This time, it’s smoke drifting down from British Columbia as the wind blows out of the north. Air-quality readings (like these on PurpleAir) show the results, but nothing like the last round, and so far, this time it’s not expected to get to alert level, and there’s even a chance of showers tomorrow morning.
8:58 PM: Another sign of smoke – the sunset. Here’s how Theresa Arbow-O’Connor caught it from Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza:
Thanks for the photos. Though the official sunset moment is right about now, the sun made an early exit tonight, shrouded in smoke after casting a pink shimmer on Puget Sound.
The National Weather Service says the wind has shifted in a way that should keep air quality from getting any worse, though it may take a while to “scour” the air. By Tuesday, there’s even a slight chance of rainshowers.
2:33 PM: The season is over a bit early for the EC Hughes wading pool, which was scheduled to have its last day of the season today. Seattle Parks and Recreation just announced all of its wading pools citywide will be closed for the rest of the day – including daily-operation pools such as Lincoln Park – “due to the poor air quality.” No other aquatics closures have been announced so far.
7:58 PM: For the record, Parks announced belatedly that it had closed other outdoor aquatic facilities early including Colman Pool.
It’s a sure sign of smoke – the sun appeared pink through the haze. We’re still under an air-quality alert until Monday morning, and readings show things have definitely worsened. The Washington Smoke Information site says this is smoke both from fires to the east and from fires in southern British Columbia.
West Seattle’s emergency shelter – which runs on donations and volunteer help – is open for the hot weather, its manager Keith Hughes tells WSB, until 8 pm today and again 11 am-8 pm tomorrow “with food, water, and AC. However, we are very low in supplies, so I have attached my Supplies Wish List. Also, keeping the hall open and running the AC for days is a strain on our finances, which are all voluntary donations from the community. Pepple can donate items from the Wish List, or go to our website, westsideneighborsshelter.org and make a cash donation [update: direct link here] to help with the electric and water bill.” Here’s the wish list:
Ground Coffee (Folgers 3# cans)
powdered coffee creamer (like Coffeemate)
Instant Hot Cocoa Mix (for hot water)
Soft drinks in cans (store brands and things on sale)
Instant Oatmeal packets
Granola-type low-sugar cereal
Pancake mix, Bisquick mix
Pancake syrup, butter, jam
Canned soup, chili, beef stew
Packaged food like top ramen, Cup-o-Noodles
Rice-a-roni, noodle-roni boxes
Dry pasta (spaghetti, egg noodles, macaroni )
Spaghetti sauce in jars
Food store gift cards so we can get fresh things like milk, eggs, butter, meat
Travel-size individual soaps, shampoo; tooth brushes & toothpaste (ask your dentist for donations) bar soap for shower, laundry detergent pods
Toilet paper and paper towels, disinfectant wipes
The shelter is co-housed with the West Seattle Veteran Center/American Legion Post 160 at 3618 SW Alaska.
Now that the heat is here – mid-80s at mid-afternoon – the National Weather Service has upgraded its alert to an Excessive Heat Warning. But it’s also shortened the duration; instead of stretching into Thursday, the NWS is currently expecting the alert to expire late Wednesday night. The alert warns of: “Dangerously hot conditions with daytime temperatures in the low to mid 90s and lows in the 60s expected. This will pose a major risk of heat-related illness.” Keep yourself hydrated (and if you have a bird bath, keep that full too).
1:32 PM: You’ve probably heard the forecast for a heat wave next week. The National Weather Service has formalized it with an “Excessive Heat Watch” alert for Monday morning (August 14th) through Thursday evening (August 17th). The alert warns of:
.A multi-day stretch of dangerously hot conditions with daytime temperatures in the 80s and 90s and lows in the 60s. This will pose Moderate to Major Heat Risk levels and risk of heat-related illness.
As the map at right shows, the alert covers much of Western Washington,
4:13 PM: The alert’s been updated to kick in earlier – “late Sunday night.”