West Seattle, Washington
Seattle Public Schools’ home page says things are still so icy on the north side, the entire district will stay shut down again for a second day.
Poked around the tubes to see who else is talking about the Semi-Big Chill with a WS spin. The Lone Tomato saw our snow through the eyes of a former tropics-dweller. The Duke mentions crossing the bridge in the midst of the worst of it last night. The Weatherman put up a pic of the view from his walkway, quite the representative WS scene. Period of Useful Consciousness features video of a rare event: a dog deciding it’s too cold for a swim in the water off Alki. Demi has pics including both snow/ice and tonight’s spectacular sunset. Peter writes about leaving work in West Seattle last night to try to get home. Red Kev also had to negotiate the streets right about then. (We personally think the most dramatic and horrifying tales will occur when the utility bills hit the mail slot next month.)
… the really bad weather should be done by this weekend, so we can all enjoy the 2nd annual West Seattle Tree Lighting (this time it’s going to be at 42nd & Alaska, and county councilguy Dow C will be the MC) on Saturday. But in the meantime, we’ve got near-record cold in the works for tonight (here at WS Blog World HQ it’s a three-cat night … oh wait, we need another cat for that) and supposedly some more snow to smack us all tomorrow night into Thursday morning, with a chaser of rain, just like the big melt of ’96 (remember that one? that’s the worst memory we can muster, having not been here for Bridge Sinking ’90).
Scoped the roads while going home for lunch. The Bridge is in vastly better shape than it was this morning. You can hear the crunch and crackle of traction sand working its way into your tire treads, but that’s a much more pleasant sound than the screech of brakes, spinning of wheels, smashing into Jersey barriers and so on. Should be pretty decent for the evening drive home. The Admiral offramp still looked a little icy, though, so beware of that; the stretches of Fauntleroy and California that we traveled were relatively ice-free, but most side streets still look relatively ominous.
Haven’t seen it snow this hard since the Post-Christmas Blast of ’96. P.S. In case you wondered, the city has a snow & ice FAQ. And there’s the handy-dandy list of streets
most likely to be closed probably closed right this very second already.
Six o’clock straight up and the latest wave of snow just hit our end of WS. Right after we drove through it on our way home from work … past Qwest Field, where as I write, Monday Night Football features the Seahawks hosting a team that’s more used to this kind of weather. This time, the snow seems to be more a matter of geography than altitude … a little while ago, the cars at Huling Brothers already had a decent coat of white, but by the time we passed Morgan Junction Thriftway, the ground was nearly bare … till now. Whoa, it appears to be snowing sideways at the moment. Be safe!
The snow’s stopped but now gusty wind has roared in. Looks like the experts think we’re done with the serious snow threat (till you get north of Seattle, anyway). Nice while it lasted (provided you didn’t have to drive last night). If you were wondering “how early did we see snow last year, anyway?” my memory didn’t help, either, but the archives of Metroblogging Seattle did.
Just after 7 pm and here on the southern hills of West Seattle, it’s been snowing for a few hours, with flakes still falling and some slush on the street. Will this mean an extended Thanksgiving holiday for local schoolkids? No word yet. If it does, the info should show up here before dawn. Also remember that if you have to drive (hopefully not) we’ve got city traffic cameras, including the bridge, linked from our WS cams page.
Woke up late and missed the actual snowfall up here on our hill, but there’s still a bit in the yard and on neighboring roofs. Not for long, though, since it’s raining and 37 degrees. We’re going out to see if anything’s photo-worthy; meantime, if you want to check out an actual Winter Wonderland, look at the live state cameras in Whatcom County.
… just in case; our weather-geek pals tell us it could get windy enough overnight to take out the power. It appears the National Weather Service concurs. In case you want to write it down now, the City Light hotline for reporting outages is 206-684-3000; if you want to check first if someone’s already reported your outage, there’s supposed to be a recorded message along those lines at 206-684-7400.
If you really want to know and don’t have weather gadgets that can tell you … our favorite weather geek advises us there’s a close second. The National Weather Service posts “current observations” online from stations including Alki Point. Go to this page and look for K91S; I don’t even know what all the stats are, but the T column is temperature, the SP column is wind speed, the GS is wind gusts (when applicable). If you’re more inland, KBFI is Boeing Field, which is a little closer to much of West Seattle than the standard Sea-Tac stat cited in many spots for “official” city weather tracking. And if you want to go non-official, Weather Underground lists two people in WS with personal weather stations: one described as “North Admiral,” and “Weather at the Hoffmeisters’.”
Usually by this point in October, you can see what are literally the signs of fall: the “snow closure” road signs that city crews bring around and strategically tether to fixtures near steep spots — south end of Admiral, south end of Cali Ave, the nearly vertical drop on Charlestown, etc.
Instead of seeing these signs, we’re seeing record high temperatures and spectacular sunsets. So in case you’re missing typical fall weather, we found a reason to not miss it: the Columbus Day Windstorm, 44 years ago today.
When we moved into our house more than a few years ago, one of its selling points happened to be a relatively recent conversion to natural-gas heat. So much cheaper than oil or electric! … at the time.
Now, bills with LOTS of digits come sailing through the mail slot. And that’s just for the “average” winter temperatures we’ve had till now. Suddenly the big chill is upon us, the cars are frosted, my toes are frozen, and I can see far enough into the future to envision my first $200 heating bill spitting out of a PSE printer somewhere.
Whatever national media might have reporters here in town to cover fans reaction to The Big Game, you know someone will write the story, should Our Team prevail, “As the sun came out after months of rain in soggy Seattle, football glory finally broke through the home team’s clouds of trophyless years.” Or something like that.
In other semi-weather-related news, the Beach Drive water woes merited just one little line in this Times report. Blink and you’ll miss it.
Can anyone tell me why even a small paper like the Herald, equipped with a 24/7 online site like just about everyone else in this day and age, can’t add breaking news like a storm damage report? Even a blog, for heaven’s sake. If they want to be the community’s source for news, it would be so easy to do.
As for that hideous WestSeattle.com — which pompously declares itself “the official site for the West Seattle community” (when did we vote; did I sleep through it?) — storm? what storm? Even tiny Caribbean island towns use their community sites for storm reports.
Rant off … for now …
Just saw a TV news report (Q-13, if you’re keeping track) about flooding in a waterfront home along Beach Drive. Times like these are the only times I feel OK about not being able to afford such opulence — no chance of flooding here on the hillsides. (No, we’re not in a mudslide-prone position, either.)
As of this writing, the 520 bridge isn’t open yet — DOT has another handy page (separate from the link mentioned in the last post) with an update from just half an hour ago.
But at least here at West Seattle Blog World Headquarters, we’ll be watching The Big Game — no power woes after all.
A flicker here, a flicker there, but we haven’t lost power again, here on the south side of WS. The City Light site (see link in post below) says only 50 “customers” are still powerless. Still breezy outside, but nothing too out of the ordinary, according to the National Weather Service’s current-observations page (hint, look for KBFI, which is Boeing Field, and check “sp” for sustained wind speed, “gs” for gusts).
However, the 520 bridge is still closed, one of a variety of Western Washington road closures, according to the state DOT traffic-alerts page.
We’ve been out, as far north as the Junction, as far south as Burien.
No widespread panic, except for the crowd at the Junction liquor store trying to hoard hooch before, well, you know, that thing tomorrow.
We encountered only one spot of powerlessness, a couple blocks along Ambaum in what I fondly think of as North Burien.
If you’re in the city and you want to know what’s out where, turns out that Seattle City Light is posting updates on its site (scroll down) — fairly frequent updates, apparently; the one up now is from just 10 minutes ago.