DAY 2 REPORT: It could be fitting that we haven’t given this Seattle ice storm a name yet — the most interesting days may be yet to come.
With area schools again on two-hour delays and an icy start to the morning underway, the National Weather Service said early Tuesday that the latest forecast information shows “major changes” coming and a possible burst of heavy snow around Seattle Tuesday night.
The level of uncertainty is high. What is known is that, after smaller snow showers through the day, a “a band of heavy snowfall is likely to develop over the Olympic Peninsula and Puget Sound this evening and move north into Canada overnight/Wednesday morning.” What is possible? Anywhere from 1″ to 6″ of snow here in Seattle if things shift even slightly in the hours following the Tuesday night commute: Continue reading →
A tiny snowperson on Capitol Hill (Image: Alex Garland)
Snow did, indeed, begin falling on Capitol Hill Sunday night as a highly anticipated bout of freezing temperatures poured into the region.
For Monday morning’s commute, Capitol Hill and the city’s streets were mostly clear of snow — though ice was a different story with overnight temperatures in the 20s. Meanwhile, some areas on the Eastside reported from 5″ to 9″ overnight. Continue reading →
A blizzard of preparedness activity and information is preceding the arrival of a “modified arctic front” set to blast Capitol Hill, Seattle, and Western Washington with a shock of freezing temperatures — and, yes, maybe some snow.
“An inch (or two) of snow is possible by sunrise Monday as northerly winds whipping down the Sound run smack-dab into warmer winds coming up from the south,” the Seattle Weather Blog warns. “School districts, be on guard for potential delays and/or closings Monday morning.”
The real concern — or excitement for those of you looking forward to a few snow days — could come late next week.
Capitol Hill got a slushy “snrain” preview Thursday morning. Similar flakes are expected Friday here but don’t expect any chance of accumulation until Sunday’s arctic blast arrives and the National Weather Service’s predictions of Seattle highs in the 20s plays out. A lack of predicted precipitation might keep snow away from Seattle. Things become more unsettled — and possibly snowier — later in the week.
Seattle city officials, meanwhile, are taking full advantage of the early warning to get the word out on how best to cope in Seattle ice and snow. Mayor Jenny Durkan, Seattle Department of Transportation director Sam Zimbabwe, and Office of Emergency Management director Barb Graff held a winter weather preparedness press conference Thursday “to ensure residents are prepared to navigate the potential impacts of any winter event.”
Here are a few things you should know:
The city typically expands its cold weather shelter services for weather like we’ll be facing next week. Not everybody will take advantage of it. Call 911 if you see somebody who appears to be in distress on the streets at any time — but especially when temperatures hover around freezing.
Grocery stores can get hit pretty hard especially if thing get messy enough that deliveries are delayed and shelves can’t be restocked. Grab a few essentials now but leave a six-pack for the rest of us.
Capitol Hill Broadway and Pike QFC preparing for the Seattle snow with a bit of bread.
This week of snow and ice has added to Capitol Hill’s natural layer of “Did I just see that?” From the weekend, here’s another crazy scene from E Thomas. Hope everyone is keeping an even keel. Continue reading →
As I write this, we’re getting ready for another round of snow, and while I don’t know how much will fall, I do know that it’s hard to be outside in cold weather. The warm-blooded wild creatures that live on the hill have to continue to find food, or at least not waste energy, despite the conditions. Unlike some species, which can shut their entire bodies down, even to the point of freezing solid, most birds and mammals need to maintain bodily functions through the coldest months. Birds don’t exactly have it easy, they can’t layer on fat with high metabolisms and the need to be light enough to fly, but they do have the benefit of being able to migrate away.
UPDATE 2/8/19 9:45 AM: The predictions are playing out. Seattle is set to be walloped by heavy snow with the biggest push coming sometime after 3 PM and lasting into the night. Forecasts for the Seattle area remain in the 6 inches and up zone with a cold and blustery weekend to follow. A winter storm warning has been issued through Saturday afternoon. Chances of snow continue through next week with highs topping out just above freezing.
Seattle Police say they are adding additional emergency services during the storm with dedicated transport vans to take people to shelters. Services will be available citywide through Wednesday. SPD says to call 911 if you believe someone is cold and in need. The Seattle Times is reporting that a 59-year-old died of exposure at the SoDo light rail station Thursday morning during the freezing temperatures.
Wanna good reason to leave work and start your weekend early? How about snow as an excuse! The heaviest snowfall is expected to reach the Seattle Metro after 3 PM this afternoon and continue through the evening rush. If you do have to be out…BE CAREFUL! #WAwxpic.twitter.com/jShTnE1Cx9
PREVIOUS UPDATES: The National Weather Service is predicting five to eight inches of snow starting Friday and another week of freezing temperatures across Seattle.
Heavy snow possible. Total snow accumulations of 5 to 8 inches possible. There remains some uncertainty in the details as a few areas could see a foot of snow while a few other locations may only see 2-4 inches. Windy conditions will develop late Friday night into Saturday with north winds 20 to 35 mph. Temperatures late Friday night through Saturday will fall through the 20s.
The forecast calls for the more serious snow in Seattle to begin falling Friday afternoon and some models show we could get more than a foot in the area. The storm will also be accompanied by heavy winds so get your flashlights ready. Continue reading →
Residents around Capitol Hill began another day of icy — but partially thawed — conditions Wednesday as Seattle awaited another inbound winter storm and promises — and threats — of more snow through the weekend.
The Hill’s side streets and many sidewalks remained an icy mess so it was best to take it slow. The city’s designated snow and ice routes — marked green and gold in the map below — were mostly clear sailing for busses, cars and bikes. Areas of shade on side streets and sidewalks were especially treacherous, however. Be safe, stay warm was the mantra for the day. Continue reading →
It’s been a while since Seattle saw a full-blown snow day. Monday’s snowy, slushy, icy roads and sidewalks put a twist in getting around. With schools canceled and a general downshift in schedules across the city, many had no particular place to go, anyhow. But many others stayed on the move, while others tried to deal with the blast of cold weather that added an even bigger challenge to life on the streets. The cold, for some, withered hope. CHS encountered a man in Cal Anderson sitting in the cold snow and told him there was a shelter open nearby. His response: “I don’t care.” In addition to the city’s existing overnight shelters, officials have made extra beds available at the King County Administration Building through Wednesday while a City of Seattle “severe weather shelter” is open at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall from 7 PM to 7 AM through Tuesday.
Many businesses were closed or closed early because of the snow and ice but there were also plenty of cafes, restaurants, and shops with workers who braved the cold to come in and open up. A warm cafe with a good cup of coffee was a testament to the neighborhood’s walkability and public transit — and also, of course, next month’s rent.
Things will be getting back toward normal Tuesday but maybe a little slowly. Seattle Public Schools announced it will be back open for business Tuesday 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. More Tuesday updates here — Ice days: Slippery sidewalks and roads across Capitol Hill
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.