West Seattle, Washington
Newest information first: 5:55 PM: The number of people affected by outages in Seattle is starting to drop, so while there’s no definite estimate for when everyone in WS will be back, that’s promising. Watching the barometer suggests the worst is over. 5:30 PM: In addition to the Fauntleroy/California intersection, we saw power out to at least the Seattle International Church vicinity a few blocks south, at last drive-past. 5:26 PM: Comcast cable internet service is out in at least one Upper Fauntleroy neighborhood. 5:18 PM: West Seattle outages on the city list total more than 10,000 homes/businesses. Also — great wave pix up at Beach Drive Blog. 5:00 PM: Power is back on at High Point Community Center. 4:40 PM: Qwest DSL service is reported down in at least one neighborhood near The Junction, though the land-line phones are still working. 4:32 PM: Power is out at the Fauntleroy/California intersection in Morgan Junction. 4:19 PM: Thanks to reader Margelyn for providing the City Light link to the latest outage list. Also, here’s the latest Weather Service “forecast discussion” – analysis to come. 4:14 PM: Update from the City Light hotline, more than 3,300 households/businesses are reported out in various areas of south and east WS; SCL doesn’t know when the power will be restored. 3:59 PM: Adding photo below this post showing tipping power pole that caused the wire trouble on Thistle. Also, report of power out in the High Point Community Center vicinity – activities are still happening but if the power’s not back by dark evening activities might be in jeopardy. 3:50 PM: From reader M, “Stoplights are out starting at Barton & 35th to at least Trenton & 35th (probably further but that is my turn). Arbor Hts Elementary 35th & 104th lost power about 3:15.” 3:25 PM: Reports of tree trouble in The Junction, including one near the Post Office and one in front of Seattle Fish. EARLIER: Washington State Ferries says power is restored at the Fauntleroy dock … City Light has reported various outages on the south side of West Seattle … City 911 reports “wires down” at 4615 SW Thistle, which is just east of Lincoln Park. NOTE: If you have photos of fallen trees or anything else weather-related, please send them in. We will be out and about getting some too, but yours are the best WSB eyes, ears, and cameras!
At least one Weather Service update predicted 2 pm, and indeed, that’s when things kicked up. You can monitor windspeeds here (includes a link explaining the station names; KBFI is Boeing Field and K91S is Alki Point). One comment on our previous post says there’s power out somewhere near Lincoln Park. Also, we have a storm-related bulletin from elsewhere in south WS: The goats coming to Gatewood Elementary to munch invasive ivy are delaying their arrival till tomorrow because of the weather, but everything should be great for the big highlight event on Saturday.
The “wind advisory” mentioned earlier remains in effect. But for everybody stuck outside West Seattle right now, here are a couple shots from Lowman Beach a little while ago … even a little blue sky through a hole in the clouds to the west:
The National Weather Service has just published its midmorning “forecast discussion,” and it seems to be in line with the overnight change to a “wind advisory” — this afternoon’s wind in our area likely to be 20-30 mph “sustained” with maybe some 40, 50 mph gusts — not to be taken lightly, but also probably not hugely catastrophic. Excerpt:
THE INTERIOR WILL SEE THE STRONGEST WINDS DURING THE MID AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING WITH SOUTH TO SOUTHWEST WINDS 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS 40 TO 50 MPH. ASIDE FROM STRONG WINDS IN THE STRAIT…WILL SEE WINDS DIMINISH ACROSS THE AREA THIS EVENING …AS THE LOW EXITS THE REGION. THIS SYSTEM IS ALSO BRINGING PRETTY GOOD PRECIP TO THE AREA WITH RAIN…MODERATE AT TIMES…SWITCHING TO SHOWERS DURING THE AFTERNOON.
If you don’t always pay such close attention to weather details … south-to-southwest wind means that west- and south-facing areas of WS (as well as the higher hills) are likely to see more of it than north-facing areas such as Alki.
The National Weather Service has canceled the “high wind watch” and issued a “wind advisory” in its place — the predictions are a little less dire, and the strongest gusts are now expected to be not as strong as first feared:
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SEATTLE HAS ISSUED A WIND ADVISORY…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 2 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 11 PM PDT THIS EVENING. THE HIGH WIND WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.
WINDS WILL INCREASE OVER MOST OF THE LOWLANDS THIS AFTERNOON RIGHT AHEAD OF THE INCOMING WEATHER SYSTEM. SOUTH WINDS IN THE 10 TO 20 MPH RANGE WILL INCREASE TO 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 40 MPH BETWEEN 2 PM AND 8 PM. THE WINDS WILL DECREASE SIGNIFICANTLY AFTER 11 PM.
According to the accompanying “forecast discussion” from early this morning, the rain might be more worrisome than the wind, at this point, with up to an inch likely in the city today.
The National Weather Service‘s nighttime “forecast discussion” is online now, and the predictions haven’t changed much. The strongest wind tomorrow is expected out at the (ocean) coast and up Whatcom/Skagit/Whidbey way, but we’re still likely to get gustiness here in the big city. Excerpt, including talk about a second storm to follow:
PLENTY ENOUGH SUPPORT FOR THE CURRENT FORECAST WITH WARNING CRITERIA (GREATER THAN 40 MPH SUSTAINED AND/OR GUSTS 58 MPH OR MORE) OVER THE COAST AND NW INTERIOR. STILL IFFY IF THE CRITERIA WILL BE MET ELSEWHERE…BUT IT WILL BE WINDY REGARDLESS. ENOUGH FOR AN ADVISORY ANYWAY. THE STRONG WINDS WILL LAST THROUGH A LARGE PART OF THE DAY FOR THE COAST…WITH THE STRONGEST WINDS OVER THE INTERIOR DURING THE MID AFTERNOON INTO THE EARLY EVENING…THEN EASING UP INTO THE LATE EVENING HOURS.
ON FRIDAY…ANOTHER SYSTEM WILL MOVE INTO THE AREA WITH PLENTY OF RAIN AND CLOUDS AND CONTINUED COOL TEMPERATURES. WIND WISE…THIS SYSTEM LOOKS A GOOD DEAL WEAKER THAN THE THURSDAY SYSTEM…BUT IT WILL HAVE A DECENT SW BREEZE IN ITS WAKE. THE OFF AND ON WET WEATHER IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE INTO THE EARLY PART OF THE WEEKEND.
First — King County leaders have chimed in, including preparedness advice; read it here. (Helpfully, that page includes this link to more information about food spoilage when your fridge loses power; that was a big point of confusion for us and others during the longterm outage last year.)
Second — the city Transportation Department issued this alert, including a phone number that is worth writing down someplace:
Stormy conditions are forecast for tomorrowÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s afternoon commute period. An abundance of leaves brought down by the wind and rain may clog street drains and result in spot flooding. Drivers should use caution and proceed slowly where water has accumulated on the roadway, and should not drive through deep water.
In the event of heavy winds, trees and branches or other debris may fall into the roadway, and power may be lost in some areas. Drivers should be alert for obstacles on the roadway, and treat dark or twisted traffic signals as all-way stops. Blocked roadways, damaged traffic signs or malfunctioning traffic signals within the City of Seattle may be reported to SDOTÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 24-hour Street Maintenance Office at 206.386.1218.
Today SDOT crews readied equipment and supplies to prepare for tomorrowÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s forecast of bumpy weather. The crews are ready to clear roads of storm debris, repair damaged traffic signals and signs, and work with other city departments to keep roads open and power on throughout the city.
Press release just out of the inbox. Please note the line about the trees — go check yours if applicable:
With a windstorm expected in the greater Seattle area Thursday evening, Seattle City Light is preparing crews and stocking its trucks to respond to any outages that occur and restore service.
The National Weather Service is forecasting sustained winds of 25 to 35 mph and gusts of 40 to 50 mph. The peak of the storm is expected between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Winds of that level are slightly stronger than a typical winter storm in this area. They have the potential to damage the electrical system, causing outages.
One particular concern is trees that were damaged in last DecemberÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s major storm but are still standing. Those trees have been weakened and are more susceptible to wind. Also, because many of the trees still hold a majority of their leaves, they act more like a sail in catching the wind, further increasing the risk.
On the good side, soils are not saturated, giving trees more of an anchor. City Light also has trimmed trees along more than 100 miles of power lines this year to provide clearance that helps reduce the likelihood of damage.
Residents are encouraged to take this opportunity to get prepared for winter storms and other emergencies. Three ways you can begin preparing today are to make an emergency plan for your family, build an emergency kit and get involved with your neighbors.
You can learn more at www.seattle.gov/emergency.
The National Weather Service has just published its latest “forecast discussion,” and it’s still calling for strong winds tomorrow afternoon/evening:
THE STRONGEST WINDS IN THE PUGET SOUND AREA WILL OCCUR DURING THE LATE AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING. AS FOR HOW STRONG…IT ALL DEPENDS ON HOW TIGHT THE SOUTH TO NORTH PRESSURE GRADIENT IS…WHICH DEPENDS ON THE TRACK OF THIS SYSTEM AS IT MOVES ONSHORE. AT THIS TIME WE ARE EXPECTING SOUTH TO SW WINDS 25 TO 35 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 50 MPH FOR THE INTERIOR.”
From the link we mentioned earlier this morning, where National Weather Service meteorologists elaborate at least twice daily on what they see heading this way, the newest “forecast discussion” is now published, including this excerpt, referring to tomorrow (Thursday): “FOR THE PUGET SOUND AREA…APPEARS THAT THE STRONGEST WINDS WILL OCCUR DURING THE LATE AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING HOURS AS A STRONG SOUTH TO NORTH PRESSURE GRADIENT DEVELOPS.”
Unless you moved here after Windstorm 2006 last December, you may be quaking like a leaf in the breeze at the prospect of the High Wind Watch alert just issued this morning — after all, West Seattle got hit the worst in that December-to-remember wallop, with most of us losing electricity for at least a few days. The city promises it will do a better job of getting out information this year regarding when the juice is coming back; crews have also been out for weeks trying to take some preventive action – we saw city tree trimmers along Cali just a few days ago. So get your batteries (laptop too!), your firewood, your blankets, your nonperishable food and drink, and hang on. As for the latest on whether Windstorm ’07 is really on the way, besides the usual collection of basic online forecasts (we like Weather Underground), here’s a great page to watch, with behind-the-scenes talk about what the real experts are seeing: The local National Weather Service “forecast discussion,” updated several times daily.
Caught up with some of the Seattle CROP Walk’ers in the rain and the wind a little while ago just south of Alki Point. Hundreds of people from churches all over the area are braving the 3-mile Alki-area route today to raise money and awareness to fight hunger, locally (benefiting agencies include the West Seattle and White Center Food Banks) and worldwide.
Remember last December? (If you’ve forgotten, or you weren’t here, browse the WSB December ’06 Windstorm category.) Time to get ready for this year — we’ll be offering lots of info on that shortly — for starters, the city just announced a new round of free “disaster prep” classes, including two next month in WS.
-On the door at La Rustica tonight: “Closed For Remodel/thanks for your patience.” (Interesting way to put it.)
-On the gate at Hotwire tonight: Sidewalk Cinema rained out one more time. This was supposed to be the reschedule of last month’s “Monty Python & the Holy Grail” rainout. When the raindrops started smacking the windshield just as we entered The Junction, we were mega-bummed, to say the least.
-On the window at Chuck & Sally’s tonight: The same “closed for several days” sign that’s been up for several weeks. City records show that someone filed a “land use code” complaint a few days after our early September report, but no indication exactly what they’re alleged to have violated, and no resolution of the complaint yet.
Seconds away from shutting down the computer, we checked e-mail one last time, and good thing we did: a note had just come in from Joe (thank you!!!!) with these spectacular photos of the lightning we’ve seen the past few hours. Joe’s full gallery of pix taken from what he described as “the west tip of Alki, facing southwest” can be found here.
We were so hoping to snag a pretty summer sunset photo tonight for the first time in a while. The clouds refused to cooperate. So instead, in case you didn’t get to go out and enjoy it, here’s actual proof that summer returned for a while this afternoon …. honest.
Sign on the gate @ Hotwire says last night’s rained-out showing of “Monty Python & the Holy Grail” WILL be rescheduled for “a Saturday in September,” no date yet, we’ll let you know the second we hear. Meantime, in the rainout post on his Sidewalk Cinema blog, movie maestro Philip notes that next Saturday’s “Edward Scissorhands” showing will have an 8 pm opening band, Pagasys (hear them here).
Within just a few minutes’ time — the view westward from Alki Avenue; the view south from Constellation Park: