West Seattle, Washington
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!
Even more than the snow on the road, the sidewalk, the parked cars … the snow on branches is one of the loveliest sights. (See photo below; Comcast was doing its slowdown thing again, so it took us a while to upload.) If you’re natives of warmer climes, as we are, this is always still so fresh and new — get out and take a walk — who knows what it’ll look like tomorrow! (Speaking of which, as of 10:05 pm, no word from Seattle Public Schools on whether they’ll call a “snow day” for tomorrow; you can keep checking their home page, though if they haven’t decided by now, they might not make the call till after 4 am or so.)
Most snow we’ve seen up here in a few years. The accumulation on fencetops and so forth looks like about two inches. How about where you are? (We know this is serious — just spotted a snowplow south of M-Junction on Cali Ave.)
In just about the past 15 minutes, the weather changed from cloudy and mellow to fierce wind and pelting rain. Haven’t we seen this movie before?
West-Seattle-based County Councilguy, Dow Constantine, promised two weeks ago to look into why WS had so much power trouble because of stormy weather. Looks like he’s keeping that promise. In fact, the entire King County Council will hit the road for Fauntleroy in early February. (By then, we fear, we will need an “outage diary” to keep track of everything that’s happened. At this moment, in fact, we are under 3 separate special weather alerts!)
Awakened to calm weather and a comment (post below) that power returned late last night … no outages on the City Light “hotline” now so here’s hoping that was the end of it!
As “The House” mentioned in a comment on our last post, we now have an outage in West Seattle — only one in the city at the moment, according to the City Light hotline; 3,000 customers. Seems like the boundaries they mentioned on the phone recording are a bit wide — “17th SW to 46th SW, Findlay SW to 112th SW” would seem to cover about two-thirds of WS, including our area, and things are OK here (KNOCK WOOD) — but they did say a crew was on the way. Hang in there.
Not sure if it’s scary-windy where you’re at; here on the hill, it’s sounding almost as ferocious as The Big One did. But the National Weather Service’s latest “forecast discussion” insists it’s just about peaked:
SOUTHERLY GRADIENTS SHOULD PEAK BY 10PM SO IT WONT GET MUCH STRONGER THAN IT IS OUT THERE AT 9PM...PERHAPS A LITTLE EXTRA OOMPH AT 10PM WITH FROPA. AND THE BEHIND THE FRONT A FULL WLY GALES COMES DOWN THRU THE STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA IN THE NEXT FEW HOURS. WINDS THRU PUGET SOUND WILL DIE BACK AFTER MIDNIGHT AS A STRONG PSCZ SETS UP...
We were going to post this a little while earlier, with a couple snarky comments, then thought better of it. But now we’ve reconsidered, thanks to a thoughtful reader who passed it along. And since our power hasn’t gone off YET, we might as well post more while we still can. So, we present, the city’s “alert,” which warns, “We know there will be outages.” (Tip #6 makes us chuckle ruefully, remembering the vague SCL web info from previous outages. Perhaps they are truly prepared for detailed info this time?)