La Niña Capitol Hill — City sets up snow-centric sites as cold, wet winter approaches

Last year’s November snowstorm caught Capitol hill — and the city — by surprise (Image: Michael van Baker)

When you are stuck at home in a snowstorm this winter, you’ll be able to pinpoint the exact streets that you can’t use, thanks to work done in the off-season by Seattle’s Department of Transportation.  The Winter Weather portal includes a street map to track closures and deicing and plowing work as it’s done.

Most importantly, the map tells you (you can download a printable pdf version) which streets the city is dedicated to keeping open. You can see for yourself how well they are doing with webcams throughout the city (forget Ice Road Truckers, 12 cameras are now providing live video).


Otherwise, if you live on a particularly steep hill, you may want to stock up in preparation for a few days snowbound:

Steep topography, like the Queen Anne Counterbalance, First Hill and the intersection of 35th Avenue SW and Avalon, add to the complexity of snow fighting in Seattle. Hills can consume lots of time and effort and still not be drivable. A few stuck cars can tie up an important arterial for hours.

Any “snow event” will also be tweeted.

Here on CHS, they’ll help keep you up to date on the latest local conditions and will piece all of this new information together — with your help and reports, of course.

Meanwhile, before the battery on your phone dies, you can check in on Seattle City Light outages at their new mobile-friendly City Light site. Top of the options is the ability to Pay Your Bill! So that’s nice. A dedicated iPhone app is said to be making its way through Apple’s approval process, so stay tuned.

As a reminder that crisp fall days and leaf-kicking are at an end, the National Weather Service is predicting:

…A VIGOROUS COLD FRONT WILL MOVE THROUGH WESTERN WASHINGTON DURING THE DAY FRIDAY…COOL WEATHER WILL BRING SIGNIFICANT SNOW TO THE MOUNTAINS
BEGINNING LATER FRIDAY…

On his blog, Cliff Mass explains why this front presages the start of the La Niña Express: “If a trough develops with more amplitude and the ridge extends more into AK, we approach the canonical snow pattern. […] On Saturday…more of the same, but a bit stronger.  Expect a low snow level and decent snows in the mountain.  The Mayor and SDOT don’t have to worry…yet.”

More Seattle arts and culture at TheSunBreak.com

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