#seasnow 2013: Capitol Hill Seattle snow updates

Cal Anderson, mostly empty Friday morning except for a few intrepid joggers and loyal dog owners (Image: CHS)

Cal Anderson, mostly empty Friday morning except for a few intrepid joggers and loyal dog owners (Image: CHS)

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What was already likely to be a quiet Friday before Christmas on Capitol Hill and across the rest of the city is even more muffled — and lovely! — after the predicted blanket of snow did, indeed, settle across the Puget Sound beginning early this morning just before 4 AM. Seattle is expected to receive up to four inches of snow before melting rains begin later in the day. Get outside and enjoy the rare strange look of the neighborhood — and send us pictures :) We’ll continue to update this post as the day progresses. UPDATE: About 7/10ths of an inch has fallen on Seattle — a thin blanket, if that. Forecasters say the snow should be tapering off before 9 AM.

(Image: Jacob Olson for CHS)

(Image: Jacob Olson for CHS)

Most Metro routes are performing just fine

Most Metro routes are performing just fine.

But there were a few trouble spots. Here a route 43 detoured onto E Madison got stuck at 19th Ave

But there are a few trouble spots. Here a route 43 detoured onto E Madison got stuck at 19th Ave.

Fortunately, there are other ways to get around

Fortunately, there are other ways to get around

Though they haven't plowed the Broadway Bikeway!

Though they haven’t plowed the Broadway Bikeway!

Below, more notes on what’s going on out there.

  • Transit: Metro routes are starting to be affected by accumulations on streets — especially Eastside routes. You can check your bus route’s status on the Metro Snow & Ice page. UPDATE: Metro buses are having traction problems in some areas and there are reports of coaches stuck in various places around the Hill causing traffic back-ups as following coaches wait to pass — or not pass for the trolley lines. A 43 was stuck at 19th and John earlier in the morning while a 12 bus making the right turn onto E Madison lost traction and was causing a mess around 6:45 AM. Elsewhere, CHS saw dozens of coaches in action and delivering thankful passengers.
  • Streets: There are a few cameras out of commission during streetcar construction but you can see the conditions on a few main streets in the area and on I-5 on the CHS Traffic Cams page. UPDATE: SPD is closing Aloha between 10th and 12th due to sliding cars. Meanwhile, back-ups caused by stuck buses are causing problems along routes such as the detoured #43 sitting at 19th Ave and E Madison.

    Aloha between 12th and 15th was closed during the morning, um, blizzard. Live map here

    Aloha between 12th and 15th was one of the few Seattle closures during the morning, um, blizzard. Live map here

  • Side streets: Remember that side streets will not be cleared and may be covered with snow even when an artery route is clear.
  • Schools: Seattle Public Schools are starting two hours later on a day already scheduled to end early. AM/PM kindergarteners and SPS preschoolers go free all day. Find out about area closures on the Seattle Public Schools Alerts page.
  • Air travel: Headed, Santa help you, to Sea-Tac? Here’s the airport’s status page.

IMG_3567 IMG_9559If you can, stay home Friday and don’t drive. SDOT said Thursday it was “pre-treating” its snow routes overnight. You can see the SDOT Winter Weather Response map here.

Worried about getting somewhere by bus? Here’s what Metro had to offer as of Thursday night:

Metro Transit service may be affected by snowy or icy conditions overnight Thursday to late Friday morning.

Check timetables for planned snow routes.

Visit Metro’s Snow & Ice page ahead of time to find out how Metro operates during
snowy or icy conditions.

Weather Underground PWS KWASEATT169
Latest CHS weather coverage
o Metro info
o Hill traffic cams
o SDOT Winter Response Map
o Seattle SnowWatch
o Seattle Public Schools Alerts
o Twitter updates

Snow notes and pictures by Jacob Olson

  • “It’s exciting, we gotta enjoy it while we can,” said Becky, who was out for a walk in Broadway Hill Park at about 8am with Steven and their canine companion Maggie. “I don’t work until 4pm,” Becky, whose commute was not impacted by the snow due to her schedule, said.
  • “It’s kind of cheesy, but, last night, on Facebook, I was like, ‘I want a Christmas miracle!’ and this morning I woke up and there was snow!” Caroline said. “So that’s pretty awesome; that never happens.” The transplant to Seattle from Oklahoma was playing in the snow in Cal Anderson Park with her dog Solie at about 8:30am Friday. She has only been in Seattle for a couple of years and has yet to see any major snowfall.
  • “We like it,” June said. “We don’t have to drive, so it’s no problem for us.” June was out with Don and their canine friends Hiwa and Tiki, romping in the snow in Bobby Morris Playfield in Cal Anderson Park at about 8:30am Friday. The pair are originally from Hawaii.
  • Making a snowman? No, it’s was an epic snowball fight, CHS quickly realized. Students Rowan and Wynn took advantage of the late starts at their schools this morning to have fun launching giant snowballs at each other in Bobby Morris Playfield in Cal Anderson Park at around 8:30am Friday. Seattle public schools, along with some other area schools including Capitol Hill’s Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences, started two hours late Friday morning due to the flurry.
  • There were a lot of firsts this morning for Ed, a recent transplant to Seattle from Melbourne, Australia. The engineer was planning to work from home “for the first time ever,” rather than brave his commute out of the neighborhood, he said. He was also experiencing snow in a place where he lives for one of the first times in his life, he said, as he made snowballs in Cal Anderson Park at about 8:30am Friday. “Everyone is a friend today,” Ed said, grinning and packing together a large snowball with his hands.
  • The commute was pretty clear this morning for Ivan, who was on his way to work. The only sticky part was getting down the driveway of his house on Tiger Mountain in Issaquah, where there was about three to four inches of snow, he said. “I had to have [it in] four wheel,” Nick, who lives up a partially dirt road and drives a Jeep, said. A Seattle resident for 10 years, he also lived in San Franciso and on the East Coast of the US for a number of years, and is originally from Denmark, he said.
  • Cody, who had been out since 5am making deliveries for Cupcake Royal when CHS talked to him just before 9am, said this morning’s snow had not caused him any trouble. Even Denny’s steep grade, infamous for being trouble for motorists (and sometimes a blast for a sledders) in the snow, was smooth sailing, he said.
  • Quincy, who commuted to Capitol Hill from Bremerton this morning to get to class at the Gary Manuel Aveda Institute at 10th and Pike, said the snow did not cause her too much trouble. She did have to take an alternative bus, however, when the 12 was rerouted or delayed, she said. Quincy said she had to walk “five or six blocks” from the Swedish campus on First Hill, as close as the alternative bus route she took could get her. “Not too bad…I stepped in a few puddles,” she said. Classes started late at the Institute this morning due to the snow, Quincy said.

 

 

Pictures from CHS reader Honario:11th_n_of denny_santas_flamingos

 

 

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The Volunteer Park Conservatory early Friday morning -- sent in by Wenjun Chen

The Volunteer Park Conservatory early Friday morning — sent in by Wenjun Chen

Original report 12/18/13: OK. So the last all-caps warning about possible snow in Seattle didn’t result in anything but a storm of excitement on Facebook. That time around, we only had the cold part of the equation. Thursday night into Friday morning should be a different story.

Here’s the latest forecast discussion from the National Weather Service including predictions for a few inches of snow Friday morning before cold — but melting — rain later in the day:

MODEL GUIDANCE AND SATELLITE IMAGERY CONTINUES TO SUGGEST THURSDAY WILL BE A COLD AND CLEAR DAY. HIGHS WILL BE MAINLY IN THE 30S AND A NORTH BREEZE WILL MAKE IT SEEM COLDER.

THE REALLY INTERESTING WEATHER ARRIVES THURSDAY NIGHT. A SURFACE
TROUGH WILL APPROACH THE COAST AND PRECIPITATION WILL SPREAD
SOUTHEAST FROM BRITISH COLUMBIA OVERNIGHT. IT LOOKS LIKE THIS WILL BE SNOW…ESPECIALLY IN THE 06Z-18Z PERIOD AND ESPECIALLY OVER THE NORTH AND INLAND AREAS. SNOW WILL BEGIN OVER THE FAR NORTH BY 09Z
AND REACH SEATTLE AROUND 12Z. SNOW WILL CONTINUE UNTIL 18Z-20Z THEN IT WILL CHANGE TO RAIN AS WARM AIR MAKES ITS WAY INLAND.

THE MM5 SNOW PROGS SEEM REASONABLE. THESE BRING AROUND 4 INCHES OF SNOW TO THE SEATTLE METRO AREA…PERHAPS A BIT MORE TO AREAS NEAR
THE CASCADES AND TO THE FAR NORTH. AMOUNTS TAPER TO THE SOUTH WHERE WARM AIR ARRIVES SOONER. TACOMA GETS AROUND 2 INCHES…OLYMPIA AND POINTS SOUTH AROUND 1 INCH. THE CURRENT WINTER STORM WATCH IS GOOD.

UPDATE: Cliff Mass says: “the probability of snow during Friday AM is very high, so be prepared, such as working from home or staging your car at the bottom of a hill.”

The Seattle Weather Blog says: “Even Seattle proper, though, should get in on the fun—with an additional 1 to 2 inches likely during this three-hour period.”

UPDATE Thursday 12/19/13 3:45 PM: All signs still point to a snowy Friday morning followed by eventual rain:

EVEN THIS LITTLE SNOW FALLING DURING THE FRIDAY MORNING COMMUTE SHOULD MAKE TRAVEL CHALLENGING AND MESSY. A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY WAS ISSUED EARLIER THIS AFTERNOON
TO HIGHLIGHT THE POTENTIAL SNOW PROBLEMS.

Bb5oLrbCIAAJ873UPDATE Thursday 12/19/13 8:58 PM: Seattle Weather Blog says: “Newest UW model is snowier than this morning’s–and equal to last night’s. 2 to 4″ of snow for Seattle area tomorrow.”

By the way, this is what happened to Capitol Hill on December 20th, 2008:

Much nicer than what happened that December 19th.

If you can, stay home Friday and don’t drive. SDOT said Thursday it was “pre-treating” its snow routes overnight. You can see the SDOT Winter Weather Response map here.

Worried about getting somewhere by bus? Here’s what Metro has to offer as of Thursday night:

Metro Transit service may be affected by snowy or icy conditions overnight Thursday to late Friday morning.

Check timetables for planned snow routes.

Visit Metro’s Snow & Ice page ahead of time to find out how Metro operates during
snowy or icy conditions.

And, Santa help you, headed to Sea-Tac? Here’s the airport’s status page.

CHS will be around to cover whatever happens this year, of course. Here are a few links you might find handy in planning your day.

#seasnow 2013 notes:

  • The highest point on Capitol Hill, Volunteer Park, at 453 feet above sea level, is #5 on the list of Seattle’s highest elevations.
  • Best place to sled (mostly safely) are these CHS Volunteer Park Sled Runs
  • King County maps shows the range of elevations across the Hill from 200 feet down in I-5 Shores to 300 feet on Broadway and 400 feet above 12th. This is useful for both your snow planning and your small plane piloting. Make a note of it.
  • Don’t try to drive down Aloha hill. Pedestrians are not required to help you push your car if you do.
  • More places not to even think about driving? Here’s the map of the steepest streets in Seattle:


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7 thoughts on “#seasnow 2013: Capitol Hill Seattle snow updates

  1. Pingback: ‘Remember when it was realllly cold & the pond at Cal Anderson froze? Hip Seattle Hop artist Diogenes shot a video’ | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle

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