Another ‘Winter Weather Advisory’ but Capitol Hill’s next round of November snow might not stick

Capitol Hill and Seattle should get another one to two inches of snow overnight into Thursday morning. And it should not stick.

The National Weather Service has issued a new “Winter Weather Advisory” for the region calling for more snow across the Puget Sound through Thursday afternoon but forecasted temperatures in Seattle are expected to make any accumulation here unlikely to be significant.

Still, the morning could bring freezing temperatures and icy sidewalks out of whatever mix of snow and rain occurs.

These autumn rounds of “wintry mix” weather are expected to persist in Seattle into at least next week.

 

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13,000 without power across Capitol Hill, Central District, and Madison Park — UPDATE: ‘Winter storm warning’ snow

Thanks to a reader for this snowy overnight picture

UPDATE 11/30/2022 6:36 AM: Streets were reported bare but there were plenty of slushy sidewalks and gutters early Wednesday morning across Capitol Hill.

Rising temperatures should mean no more accumulating snow through the day with the forecast calling for a mix of rain and snow Wednesday night. Several power outages continue through the north of the city with small pockets without power in the area of North Capitol Hill.

Sorry, kids, no snow day. Seattle Public Schools in Central Seattle were fully operational.

King County Metro, meanwhile, has lifted its short-lived shift to snow routes in the central city. You can check the CHS Traffic Cams page to see conditions in the Broadway and Pike/Pine core.

UPDATE 12:45 AM: We’ve added a few pictures from snowy Volunteer Park to the post. City Light was reporting 81 active power outages in the city and several locations around the Hill and beyond reported utility wires for services like phone, internet, and cable television down from falling snow-laden branches. Around the Hill, wires were reported down at the 600 block of E Pine, 17th and Yesler, the 900 block of 20th Ave, 14th and Aloha, the 500 block of 17th Ave E, the 700 block of 22nd Ave E, and the 1000 block of Boylston Ave E.

UPDATE 11:00 PM: About an inch had accumulated at Capitol Hill’s highest points as snowfall outpaced predictions and the expected transition to warmer temperatures and rain failed to materialize late Tuesday night. Meanwhile, areas north of the city were being hit with heavy snow. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the area with Capitol Hill falling right at the dividing line where rain was expected.

While temperatures are still expected to warm overnight, accumulations could persist and make for a slippery morning. Slippery streets were reportedly already claiming a few sliding and skidding cars on the Hill’s most most notorious steep routes like Denny Way. If it comes to it, stick to the city’s planned snow routes where plowing will take place if conditions warrant.
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After hot and smoky fall, Seattle makes ‘Cold Weather Emergency’ preparations

Seattle is skipping fall this year with a hot and smoky October being followed by a wet — and freezing — November. There isn’t any snow on the ground, but the city is getting ready with details of its plans to keep the city’s streets clear this winter. Plus, there will warming centers ready to go already with a cold snap settling into the Pacific Northwest this week.

Temperatures are expected to dip into freezing territory later this week, the King County Regional Homelessness Authority says it will extend hours and provide “Cold Weather Emergency” funding for outreach groups:

Outreach workers and service providers may request emergency funding from RHA for harm reduction supplies, such as warm clothing, wool or synthetic socks and gloves, sleeping bags, blankets, handwarmers, and food. We are also expanding hours at Compass Day Center across from the Ferry Terminal, and expect to stay open overnight on Tuesday through Thursday as daily lows are expected to remain very cold. A printable flyer is attached. Members of the public who would like to support the distribution of harm reduction supplies like coats and blankets may donate funds directly to a local service provider such as Compass Housing Alliance, REACH, Urban League, Salvation Army, DESC, Chief Seattle Club or other organizations that you may be familiar with.

The Seattle Department of Transportation, meanwhile, conducted “a snow plow practice run” last week. Continue reading

Should Washington fight the Bolt Creek Fire to protect Seattle’s air? — UPDATE


 

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We may be breathing in the last smoky days of 2022 on Capitol Hill but get used to them. Seattle is seeing more unhealthy air than ever — and state fire suppression efforts don’t prioritize air quality.

Meanwhile, as much as the smoke and haze is a concern, Seattle also now has too many days when the bad air has nothing to do with wind currents and burning forests in places like Skykomish.

Recent measurements from IQAir show Seattle logging more than twice the allowable number of days with unhealthy air, according to US Environmental Protection Agency guidelines.

Those bad air days fall into two categories — half of them, IQAir says, are due to particulate matter in the air from events like longer, more intense wildfires.

The Washington Department of Natural Resources which manages state fire suppression efforts including controlled forest burning says the response to the Bolt Creek Fire which has dragged on due to a historically dry October is by the books despite the wildfire’s impact on air quality around the more densely populated areas of Puget Sound.

A DNR spokesperson tells CHS the response strategy comes down to suppressing a fire in a remote area where homes and property around Skykomish are not threatened. Continue reading

Air quality warnings return along with smoke from Bolt Creek Fire over Seattle — UPDATE

(Image: @pscleanair)

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency warned Wednesday morning that air quality in Seattle has reached unhealthy levels in the central city due to smoke from nearby wildfires.

The agency said that shifting winds have redirected a plume of smoke from the nearby Bolt Creek Fire along Highway 2 near Index.

This morning we are seeing air quality that is UNHEALTHY for everyone in downtown and north Seattle from a plume of smoke from the Bolt Creek fire. Winds are blowing from Skykomish west to Everett then south to downtown. Stay indoors when possible.

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‘Haze’ — 2022 Seattle smoke season is here (for the weekend?)

Mount Rainier is not erupting but Seattle skies will be darkened this weekend as a late smoke season arrives over the city.

Forecasted winds from the northeast of the state are predicted to continue to carry smoke from area wildfires over Seattle and the Puget Sound. Friday’s morning sky already had a haze though air quality readings remained at healthy levels. Saturday’s layer is predicted to bring a much smokier day along with temperatures pushing 90 F. Continue reading

CHS Pics | The dream of 90 F days is alive in Seattle

Seattle has never seen more than five 90 F days in a row before. With a string starting Tuesday, the city could match that record by Saturday. If the predicted cooling doesn’t quite show up in time, Sunday could bring a new milestone for Seattle’s march into a new era of hotter, more extreme summers.

CHS Pics hit the streets around Capitol Hill to see how the neighborhoods are handling the heat wave and found mostly chill scenes of people — and critters — trying to keep cool.

You can add your scenes and let us know what you’ve seen in the CHS Comments.

More pictures, below. Continue reading

It’s like combining Seattle Smoke Season with Seattle’s Coldest Day in 23 Years — Air stagnation advisory issued

Socked in — from the Space Needle

It’s like Seattle Smoke Season™ meets Seattle’s Coldest Day in 23 Years™.

The National Weather Service has issued an “AIR STAGNATION ADVISORY” through noon Wednesday due to a continued run of “mid and upper level high pressure” that has Seattle and the region socked in with cold, smoggy fog.

“Poor air quality may cause issues for people with respiratory problems,” NWS warns, adding, “prolonged periods of stagnant air can hold pollutants close to the ground where people live and breathe.”

The pattern has been in place for about a week and the advisory could be extended with “very little change” in the immediate forecast.

And the days of cold, smoggy fog could carry on. The next sign of major changes in the high pressure system likely won’t begin to play out until next week.

As of Tuesday morning, Seattle air sensors were reporting readings ranging from “good” to “moderate” with the worst scores being tallied in the central city. Check the the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency and the Department of Ecology sites for latest readings.

UPDATE 1/26/2022 9:40 AM: The advisory is still planned to be lifted by noon though the sm-foggy will persist overnight and in the mornings with hopes for some afternoon clearing and a new system entering the region, the National Weather Service says:

High pressure will continue to result in foggy nights and mornings, with some clearing in the afternoons through Thursday. A more active weather pattern will then take shape at the end of the week and through the weekend. A frontal system will mark the return to rain Saturday night and Sunday, with unsettled conditions continuing through the middle of next week.

 

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Day 5 of Seattle cold and ice: more snow, more crashes, more slippery-er sidewalks

 

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People took street closures into their own hands near Interlaken (Image: CHS)

A fifth day of freezing temperatures added more than an inch of snow Thursday morning to the layer of packed powder and ice already covering Capitol Hill. At the top of the Hill, overnight snow piled up more than two inches. With the neighborhood already bunkered down due to the pandemic, many are able to stay inside and keep activities close to home. Not everybody is so lucky.

While the snow for the day is done, temperatures are predicted to barely rise above freezing Thursday before dropping again into the 20s along with forecasts for gusty winds. Saturday will bring the first 24-hour period with temperatures above freezing since Christmas — even then, the high is predicted to reach only the mid 30s. Temperatures will rise into the 30s and the low 40s in the next week but there is a chance of more, smaller bouts of snow that could snarl Seattle’s emergence from the holidays into the first days of 2022.

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Capitol Hill snow updates: coldest day in 23 years, frozen sidewalks and streets, grocery store reports, more snow?

 

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More powdery snow fell overnight in Monday morning as Capitol Hill remains encapsulated in snow and ice making getting around a slow and slippery proposition. There is likely more to come. While the official forecast from the National Weather Service remains conservative in its prediction, Seattle’s weather nerd community is getting excited. There will be more snow Wednesday night into Thursday morning. The NWS says somewhere around an inch. Seattle weather nerds? Well, they say more:

UPDATE 12/29/21 8:58 AM: Forecasters say the weather models have solidified on a prediction of around 1″ to 3″ of snow in Seattle starting Wednesday night into Thursday.

The Seattle area is already setting records after the Christmas weekend “two to four inches” storm left the city covered in powdery snow and shivering under sub-30 temperatures. Monday brought record low temperatures to the area including 17 F at Sea-Tac, the coldest here since November, 2010. The high temperature of 24 F — achieved as light snow began falling again Monday night — was also a record low making the day the coldest in the city in 23 years.

As for Sea-Tac, if the streets of Capitol Hill feel unusually quiet, many of your neighbors may still be out of town for the holidays. Seattle’s snowy, icy weather and its impacts at the airport, along with COVID-related staffing issues have helped snarl air traffic up and down the West Coast and across the country with delays and cancellations.

Closer to home, sidewalks around some commercial and residential buildings have been cleared while many have not making getting around increasingly treacherous as snow is packed into ice. Side streets are frozen and mostly uncleared. You’ll want to aim for the city’s “green and gold” snow clearance priority routes if you have to drive. Check the city’s winter weather response map for details.

The city says crews will continue “24/7 operations” as needed and SDOT is reporting that approximately 90% of Emerald and Gold routes are “bare and wet.” Continue reading