Tag Archives: storms

Ice storm warning: stay home if you can

This tree in British Columbia was encased in ice in a 2005 ice storm. Photo by Shazron via Creative Commons/Flickr.
The National Weather Service has issued a very rare ice storm warning for our area. Here it is:

The National Weather Service in Seattle has issued an ice storm warning… which is in effect until noon PST today. the winter weather advisory is no longer in effect.

* Some affected locations… Hoquiam… Olympia… Seattle.

* Timing… during the morning hours.

* Ice accumulations… two to four tenths of an
inch this morning.

* Main impact… travel will be severely impacted. Power outages are

Precautionary/preparedness actions…

An ice storm warning means severe winter weather conditions are imminent or occurring. Significant amounts of ice accumulations will make travel dangerous or impossible. Travel is strongly discouraged. Commerce will likely be severely impacted. If you must travel… keep an extra flashlight… food… and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency. Ice accumulations will likely lead to snapped power lines and falling tree branches that add to the danger.

Please be careful out there, everyone. Schools are closed, all library branches are closed today, and many other offices and services are closed because of the weather, so it’s a good idea to stay home if at all possible.

(Editor’s note: NWS warning was changed from all-caps to make it easier to read.)

A stormy Christmas

We hope all Beacon Hill Blog readers had a lovely Christmas and are having a lovely Boxing Day today. However, that lovely Christmas morning was also a stormy one, and we knowthat a few of you have had to deal with damage from the storm.

Neighbor Brook on North Beacon Hill reported that a huge gust of wind from the east took the walls of his backyard shed right off the floor, and later gusts took the roof right into the neighbors’ yard. Brook took the destruction well, however: “Really, I should be thankful. The hardest part of moving the shed has been taken care of by a windstorm. Best Christmas present ever.”

Did you have any damage from the Christmas morning winds? Please tell us in the comments.

Christmas morning winds took this shed right off its base. Photo by Brook Ellingwood.

High winds knock down pole at Beacon Hill Station

One of the banner poles at Beacon Hill Station fell early this evening in gusty winds. The pole, one of three, displayed several cut metal banners as part of the “Community Threads” installation by artist Carl Smool.

Neighbors in the area strung ropes and put up warning tape while Sound Transit security staff moved some of the metal banners to a safer location after gusts of wind caught some of the downed banners and started blowing them down South Lander Street.

The damaged pole appeared to have broken at the point where it was welded to the base. The poles still standing seem to be constructed similarly, but were still holding steady this evening though they moved quite a bit in the wind gusts. Luis Rodriguez, owner of the nearby Station coffeehouse, was helping mark the area with warning tape about half an hour after the fall, and expressed concern for the stability of the remaining poles: “They should close this. Someone could get killed! These [poles] keep on moving.”

Please be aware that the area is still under a wind advisory until midnight tonight.

Photos and video of the scene at the station plaza this evening:

Sound Transit staff observe the fallen pole at Beacon Hill Station. Photo by Wendi.
The cut metal banners that were attached to the pole. Photo by Wendi.
The base of the fallen pole, at the point where it broke off. Photo by Wendi.

Storm warning in effect

The National Weather Service has a Winter Storm Warning in effect for us from 4:00 pm Saturday to 4:00 pm Sunday. Here are some relevant excerpts (punctuation and lower-case added to make it more readable):

“A strong frontal system will spread precipitation inland over western Washington starting Saturday afternoon and continuing through much of Sunday. A combination of blizzard conditions, heavy snow, strong winds and ice buildups are expected…

“A major winter storm is on tap this weekend. Heavy snow is expected to develop along the coast on Saturday afternoon and then spread into the interior of western Washington early Saturday evening…

“Along the I-5 corridor north of Tacoma, including Seattle and Everett, storm-total snowfall of 4 to 8 inches is expected. In general, lighter amounts will occur near the Cascade foothills with heavier amounts further west along the shores of Puget Sound.”

The winds further east in the foothills are supposed to be extreme, and our winds, though less strong, will not be fun either. Be prepared.

Beacon Bits: Family planning, break dancing, and storm drains

Time to prepare for Old Man Winter

Seattle Public Utilities would like us to remind you that, despite the gorgeous weather we’ve had lately, the winter weather is on its way, and everyone needs to do a few things to keep safe and sound:

  • keep your storm drains clear of leaf debris
  • build an emergency supply kit (including water, radio and light)
  • create a family disaster plan (and practice)

For more information about wintertime safety, please visit
Take Winter by Storm, Seattle.gov’s Emergency Resources page, and SDOT’s Winter Storm Information page.