‘Showery nature’: Snow forecast for Seattle area — UPDATE: SNOW DAY

E Pike (Images: CHS)

UPDATE 2/4/19 4:45 PM: Things will be getting back toward normal Tuesday but maybe a little slowly. Seattle Public Schools announced it will be back open for business but on a two-hour delay. UPDATE: Seattle Public Schools has announced its campuses will remain closed Tuesday due to “adverse weather conditions” thanks to the icy roads and sidewalks.

UPDATE 2/4/19 9:00 AM: Capitol Hill is beginning to dig out from an icy crust of snow and is mostly faring well if not a little more slowly and quiet than usual. Street closures have limited spinouts on some of the more notorious sloping streets and people are getting around on foot, by bus, streetcar, and light rail with only a little extra effort to watch for slippery patches on the sidewalks. Bus service has been limited to snow routes.

Buses were reported stacking up in some steeper areas like route 10 as it heads up E Pine to 15th.

One area of trouble was also found along 15th Ave E near Volunteer Park where a utility pole was reported leaning across wires including Metro’s lines in the area.

SDOT has been able to keep arterials drivable though not clear. Broadway was rutted with dirty, icy snow and growing slush-filled puddles.

The National Weather Service says the snow should be wrapping up for the day but to expect at or below freezing temperatures this week with the possibility of snow returning around Thursday Friday or Saturday.

More images and updates from the snow day on Capitol Hill, below.

UPDATE 2/4/19 6:00 AM: Seattle is in for a snow day with snowy and icy streets coupled with blustery wind. Officials are recommending you stay home if you can. School is canceled and King County Metro buses are on snow routes.

Seattle Public Schools announced its closure early Monday morning deciding against earlier plans for a delayed start. Seattle Central is also closed. Seattle University is on a delayed schedule.

Meanwhile, Metro has transitioned to snow routes for its buses which continue to ply Capitol Hill streets.

Streets are mostly snow covered though SDOT is working to clear arterials. You can view the SDOT Storm Response Map here for latest updates. There are reports that even major routes like Broadway are beginning the day icy, slushy, and very slippery.

Various smaller closures are being reported as the morning commute picks up. We’ll update as we hear more. Side streets,  especially at the Hill’s higher elevations, have a thick layer of snow up to around three to five inches.

The Hill’s most infamously’s slippery route has already been closed to traffic. SPD has shut off John between 12th Ave and 15th. The stretch has been the scene of a few notorious YouTube videos over the years showing buses and cars sliding out of control.

Another early trouble spot is Boren off of first Hill around Minor where there are reports of cars spinning out, sliding, and getting stuck.

The latest forecasts calls for the snow to taper off through the day and temperatures to climb barely above freezing before dropping again overnight.

More snow is expected later in the week.

UPDATE 2/3/19 8:30 PM: A powdery dusting of snow decorated parking strips, lawns, trees, and hedges — and also dumpster lids, bike share bikes, and car tops — around Capitol Hill Sunday evening but streets and sidewalks were clear and wet as temperatures dipped below the freezing mark. The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for the area calling for enough snow to cause issues on roadways and sidewalks Monday morning. The new advisory runs through 7 AM Monday.

SDOT says they’re ready for icy roads. “Our crews will go on 12-hour shifts beginning Sunday, February 3, at noon. We’ll have about 33 trucks per shift pretreating the roadways,” an update on preparations reads.

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Original report: The National Weather Service has released a forecast and timeline for possible snow in Seattle and across the region starting Sunday afternoon.

“Given the showery nature of this system, snow amounts will not be uniform with heavier accumulations possible in stronger showers,” the “special weather statement” on the situation reads.

Catching air in 2012 (Image: Tim Durkan)
Today
Rain showers likely before 4pm, then rain and snow showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a steady temperature around 40. Northwest wind 7 to 12 mph becoming southwest 16 to 21 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 26 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.
Tonight
Rain and snow showers likely before 10pm, then snow showers. Low around 30. Wind chill values between 21 and 26. Blustery, with a south southwest wind 11 to 16 mph becoming north northwest 17 to 22 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 29 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.
Monday
A 50 percent chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 35. Wind chill values between 17 and 22. Windy, with a north northwest wind 29 to 34 mph, with gusts as high as 45 mph. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

Any snow accumulation will be the first on Capitol Hill in what has been a mild Puget Sound winter.

Here are a dozen or so things to know when it snows — even an inch — on Capitol Hill.

This round of wintry weather will also come at an interesting moment for the city’s commuters. Monday morning, the new SR-99 tunnel is slated to open to traffic for the first time after a weekend of fun runs and bike rides to inaugurate the new $3.3 billion waterfront passage.

 

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