West Seattle, Washington
The crowd at Thriftway is positively giddy about the afternoon melt-off giving them the chance to flee their snowbound domiciles … one lady in the meat section nearly mowed us down with enthusiasm, declaring without provocation, “This is the FIRST time I’ve been out in A WEEK! My freezer’s almost EMPTY! Seeing all this is like a CANDY STORE!” Oh by the way, at least as of 4 pm-ish, despite this morning’s snow, the arterials are in better shape than ever; the bridge doesn’t even have as much ice/slush on the inside shoulder as yesterday; but the side streets’ condition depends on what shape they were in before this morning. The iciest ones stayed that way; the ones where bare spots had started to bloom still show blacktop. Here’s hoping tonight doesn’t REALLY get all that cold …
We haven’t been out driving but wanted to remind you that our West Seattle cams page has the city cameras for the bridge and for Fauntleroy/Alaska and Fauntleroy/35th. As for buses, we’re not seeing specific alerts but there’s a lot of great info on the Metro page including where the buses are and when. If you’ve got road info, feel free to post it in the comments here.
Can’t resist sharing another beautiful photo, taken from Alki, sent to us by Bob Bollen. The Olympics’ most distinctive peaks, The Brothers, completely white … would rather see the rest of the season’s snow there than down here!
If you have Monday trash pickup, watch out for collection trucks, which are still trying to make their way around here on the south end of WS as of right now … The side streets on the higher hilltops are still very icy, but after a sunny slightly-above-freezing day, spots of blacktop have started to appear — ah, such a welcome sight, like the green tips of crocus leaves poking up in spring. But we digress. The arterials are just lovely, though the left edge of the westbound WS Bridge remains iced over, and the ramp to it from 99 has lingering slick spots. Enjoy it while you can, since the forecast for tomorrow hasn’t mellowed out yet (we’ve now got a “snow advisory” for 4 am-10 am, go to work late if possible) …
Has to be so. My gosh, there’s a tv news truck parked at the top of Cali Ave hill (near Ida), with its phone-pole-height antenna up in the air. The snowbound citizens of south West Seattle must be about to star on the 5 o’clock news.
Figured a list like this had to be out there on the city website somewhere — and it is: The 2006-2007 Snow and Ice Routes. Zoom in and take a close look at the WS streets — it reveals, for example, that here on our end of WS, Cali is only considered a “primary” route as far south as Holden; that leaves a half-mile stretch at the highest elevations identified as “secondary.” Elsewhere, heaven forbid we ever get major snow down to the water — no part of Alki Ave or Beach Drive or even Harbor is considered primary OR secondary. Part of the info on this page explains how the routes are prioritized.
Looks like the “overnight” low was 18 degrees at 7 am. By 8, we were up to a balmy 20. Forecasts claim we’re headed for the upper 30s today. Meantime, the new discussion point around town seems to be, do you hate this, or do you love this? We overheard one woman yesterday afternoon chatting into a cell phone that she “feels energized by snow.” But we’ve been hit by a wave of comments and e-mails from folks on the other side, expressing the opinion many shared by day 3 or 4 into the post-windstorm power outage, “we are so DONE with this.” As for us, we’re trying to continue enjoying it on the premise that we aren’t likely to see anything like this for a long time, given it’s been 10 years since the LAST time. So we will cherish photos like this one in which we captured the Thistle Hill From Hell on Thursday afternoon (BEFORE city crews got to “secondary arterials” like this; sorry, no video of hapless folks sliding into poles):
Seems the afternoon “flurries” hit elsewhere too. Some of the bare spots that were finally starting to emerge on our closest non-arterials are now frosted again. That’s supposedly over but now the latest warning … AIR STAGNATION ADVISORY! Which gives us an excuse to show one more photo from the incredibly CLEAR conditions back on Thursday — this one is NOT ours, but reader Bob Bollen gave us permission to post it (thanks!):
Checking the Weather Service’s “hourly observations” for each hour back through last night, looks like the low was 22 (closest measuring station to us is Boeing Field), 2 am. Up here in the iced-over hilltops of south West Seattle, we’re ready to see it melt. One of us is now laughing riotously about having been excited many years ago, as a child, to see frost on rooftops when the temps dipped unusually low — 40s!!!! — in the warm, sunny hometown. Oh well. Time to go see if we can make it down the hill for a latte without turning into a tv news clip.
Viaduct and high bridge still in pretty good shape, but that ramp from 99 to the bridge is still dangerous … Once in WS, where the surface arterials such as Fauntleroy are fine, we checked out 35th today instead of Cali. It’s clearly been plowed (dirty snow stacked up on the center line) and sanded, but there are some danger spots. Still gotta go really slowly uphill. And there are some icy spots around the summit (Myrtle/Holden). Oh, and those side streets, still ice-sheet nightmares. It’s not really warming up for a few more days, either … hey … wait … now there are FLURRIES in the forecast????
-One of West Seattle’s hilliest streets gets the spotlight in a P-I urban-sledding photo. (We can barely dare to drive down that section of Charlestown just west of Cali in dry times, can’t imagine sledding OR driving on it now!)
As of mid-afternoon: Bridge in good shape (though the ramp from 99 to the bridge has dicey sides). Fauntleroy, “bare and wet” as they describe it when mountain passes are in OK shape this time of year, though that could mean trouble if it’s still wet when the sun goes down (considering this really will be a COOOOOOLD night — 13 degrees????). The Cali hill through Gatewood & Upper Fauntleroy — snowy, sandy, rugged, gonna be hell going down that tomorrow; if you have to go up it today/tonight, just follow the experts’ advice re: snow and ice driving — TAKE IT REAL SLOW — one wrong move and you’ll join the spinout crowd. Oh, and the side streets? Cringe.
Remember we have the West Seattle-area city and state traffic cams linked from our WS cams page. If you want to see highway conditions around the rest of the metro area, the state’s cameras are linked here; other Seattle city traffic cams can be found here. For weather conditions, forecast, and radar, this is a good page. Be careful out there!