December 25, 2008

10 AM Update

It is snowing fair hard in Puget Sound...and it appears that the snow is being focused by a weak Puget Sound convergence zone (check radar). The computer models have this feature (see graphic) and predict it will hold in through roughly 1 PM. So it ain't over yet. You can find sun today (see satellite image)...sun is shining on the coast and some places near Olympia (won't last long though in the latter).


  1. 6+" overnight and coming down hard in Woodinville (English Hill) at 10:30am.

  2. Large fluffy flakes here in Kingston for the last few hours. About an inch of new accumulation on top of snow that has been melting underneath.

  3. Buckets, buckets I say. (550-580 ft elevation, Sammamish). I have no idea how much snow. However, we've shoveled our walkway twice, and the snowplow has come through twice, so I suspect 4-6 inches.

    Darned neighborhood kids took our garbage can lid and tried to sled down our driveway.

    In the semi-words of Clint Eastwood -- get off my lawn kid!

    Actually it's kind of funny, especially since it wasn't slick enough to sled all the way. I'm picturing an abrupt halt followed by a tumble and I'm laughing. Served 'em right if they got kicked off our garbage can lid!.

  4. Snowed quite hard for about an hour in west Bellevue while we were openin gifts, very nice. No real accumulation though. Now its rain. Merry Christmas!

  5. Woodinville is right underneath that right-hand blue spot on the map. Yay for the lovely convergence zone.

    Going on 3.5+ hours with no power. At 730am there were 250 calls into the outage reporting thingy.

    I've no idea if they will get a crew out today. Finally a chance to use all this hoarded $4 gasoline & propane... :)

    Flake size is smaller now and increased visibility, but we're going to be in the convergence zone all day.

  6. Brier/Mountlake Terrace: been snowing fairly hard since 0730. Around 6 inches accumulation. 33-34F.
    Just finished unsticking out-of-towners in rear-wheel drive rental car. Best not to drive without chains, even with AWD. If that is an option.

  7. sun is shining in east olympia, and everything is melting. temperature about 40*, and no wind. quite pretty actually.

    happy holidays to all.

  8. Vaughn Bay, Pierce County: 37.3 deg. F
    No snow overnight, light south wind now.

    Snow left is very heavy. My neighbor's carport collapsed under the weight of the snow yesterday.
    Sadly, it was shelter for MY '51 chevy and '50 ford!!

    Seattle streets late last night were pretty awful. I was surprised to see how few sidewalks were shoveled and the side streets were still snow-covered in many areas I saw. The auto shops will be busy selling alignments and shock absorbers for there are huge "speed bumps" of ice on the arterials.

    Giant puddles are forming on the streets, too. 520 bridge drains were impounding water causing dangerous ponding in the right lane.

    Be careful out there

  9. I own an auto body shop on Lake City Way and this week has been tremendous for my business! Believe me, Mayor Nickels has my vote.

  10. Happy Holidays, Cliff.

    We've had the snow nonstop east or Renton since yesterday. Oddly enough, it doesn't seem to be accumulating much, but I think that may be due to the softer, lighter snow underneath being compacted. We've had decent accumulations on the road. 33.8 F here.

  11. 32.9 here and snowing very hard at 210' elevation in East Bellevue. We have almost three inches of heavy new snow. Pretty! And hopefully in classic Puget Sound fashion, gone tomorrow!

    Santa was very good to me... not only did my husband "drive all over creation" to get one of the last copies of Cliff's book that was available, but he also brought me the Oregon Scientific professional weather station, WMR200A. Now we just need a little break in the weather to figure out where to place the sensors and get them outside!

  12. Raining now up in Lynnwwod/Edmonds, about 1/2 mile in from the Sound. I was out jogging and almost saw the sun make it through for a few moments.

    Get those snowmen rolled up and built, fast!

  13. Intermittent heavy, wet snow all morning near Indianola at 300' elevation. 36 degrees out, and none of the new snow is really accumulating at all.

  14. I just saw your segment on Northwest Cable News with Jeff Renner, and it's great to associate a face with a voice (and blog). For some reason I was picturing you a little older and a little shorter. Keep up the good work.

  15. Top of Inglewood Hill in Sammamish (600 feet). Only a few flakes coming down now, but had been snowing heavily all day. Eleven inches total measured on bare ground. White Christmas indeed. 33 degrees and steady.

  16. Does anyone know what other times/days Cliff Mass will be on NWCN?

    I thought about taking my car to some friends for dinner, but screw it...I'm walking the 7 miles roundtrip. I think the furrows would rip that low-hanging (but stock) plastic air damn right off my car. I dug the old framed backpack out of the basement so I can fit in the gifts. Now I am off to get soaked by the wake of passing cars.

    I can use the exercise.

  17. spot on predictions. Redmond had snow until about midday and now we're in melt.
    Can you work some magic and get us some more snow ;)
    Blooming snow-plow came down our road (dead end side street) and wrecked it for the kids sledging (and carved great ridges that have made driving harder than it was) ... Grrr :(

  18. This is expanding my Comment on Cliff's last post. To save you time, here's a copy of the core of my last comment, with more added afterward:
    "I want to post this comment here, as a response to Cliff' Bottom Line on "Snowing Again":
    'Anyway, this will be my last editorial on this issue!'
    I'll add more on Comments for his Christmas afternoon [oops, 10 AM Update] post.

    My passionate reaction here is:

    Please don't stop- we ALL need your leadership! The following message needs to be expanded and added to Mayor Nickels' "diming" Seattle's performance at 80%, and I'll bet that our Martin Luther King County Exec Ron's read will be "Simsilar" but closer to 50%, from his "Transit Now" perspective that sings in harmony with Cliff's earlier "editorials!"

    So, I think the whole community needs to read this message from Cliff:
    'Hopefully, the last week has taught us something about future preparations for ice and snow and rational changes will be made in how we deal with it. We narrowly avoided a terrible tragedy, with two buses nearly falling on to I5--clearly there would have been serious injuries and deaths if it had.'"

    So, I want to add here in this post that, even if Cliff thinks he needs to reduce or terminate his own editorials, we as a community need to carry on with this, not only with blog comments to each other, but email or surface mail to Greg, Ron, and Chris Gregoir, the City and County Councils, Seattle Metro and Sound Transit, and [most important}
    Letters To The Editor to the PI, Times, and all other local newspapers!

    And, those of us with scientific competence need to help heroes like Cliff with challenging technical/environmental problems.
    My leading example is "adding environmentally safe melting materials, if there are any" to sand on the streets, to do the essential job that salt (sodium chloride) has been doing, but avoiding the extreme stream and plant root damage that has caused the environmental movement and Seattle to oppose the use of salt.

    As a joint Math/Physics major at Swarthmore College who spent a year in Theoretical Physics at Princeton before "converting" to a PHD in what I could describe as "Mathematical Modeling in Quantum Physics," with 6 years as a Student Trainee at the National Bureau Of Standards in "the other Washington" in "computer applications to mathematical and statistical modeling in the physical, biological, and linguistic sciences" and long-time instructor and consultant to students (undergrad and grad, including PHD theses) at UW in mathematical tools for science and engineering (mainly differential equations, linear algebra, and Fourier analysis), I have had some experience with this, but virtually none in the "saline chemistry" needed here!

    But I'm betting (hoping, maybe praying?) that there are other more environment-friendly water-soluble chemicals which lower the freezing point of H20 below 32 degrees F like Sodium Chloride does. Or, if not, can we "invent" new ones to do that job, maybe even organic products from our sister plants?

    Or, are there "safe" substances that we can drop into ice/snow that we can then "heat up" by "radio broadcasts" of signals from street-side devices that don't heat up living plants and animals too?

    With our science and technology, we MUST be able to discover/invent environmentally sound ways to melt ice and snow off of our roads, streets, roofs, powerlines, and maybe even at-risk trees!

    As an Obamaphile, I want to lead the crowd in shouting "Yes, We Can!
    Yes, We Will!" But I need lots of help, and so does Cliff. Please pitch in!

    Sorry to run on so long on Christmas, but "The world needs, love, sweet sweet love..." so I have to try hard!

    Since this didn't seem to get posted on the first try, I'll risk a double-post by retrying, and if it does get posted twice, I hope somebody with savvy will delete this duplicate for us

  19. Lakewood/Steilacoom/Back side of N Ft. Lewis

    No snow or rain all day. Currently 36

    Hope some of the slush melts tonight, or, at least, in the rain tomorrow.

  20. Sky broke to blue just as the power was restored here in the 500ft level in Woodinville. Taking a guess that we have 20"+ out there. Our trees didn't fair so well :( 5pm and a pea soup fog has settled in.

  21. East Woodinville - Lake Tuck:

    29 inches on my picnic table. Neighbor says he has been keeping close track of the snow fall since the start - 36.5 inches.

    About 18 inches on the roof... wonder what is going to happen when it starts raining and that snow soaks up 10's of thousands of pounds of water. Guess we will find out shortly.

  22. The day in Lake Forest Park started off with snow and I finally got stuck in my driveway. Some shoveling of water-soaked snow and the driveway was clear, my 4WD got up the hill and everything worked out fine. A walk this afternoon in ice and snow mostly perfect for snowcones. It is foggy and chilly. The snow is becoming more icy as time passes and it will be a slushy, icy mess tomorrow. Thanks to the LFP snow plow and sanding truck drivers. Even though I had a three foot berm at the foot of my driveway, the roads stayed manageable and we really appreciate their efforts. Thanks also to the utility workers that got out on Christmas Eve and Day to make the day warm and cozy for the rest of us. We also had a nice dinner thanks to no interruption in service. It's 38 degrees and dropping. Thanks Cliff for the updates, the insight, and education. I look forward to the rest of the winter and what it will bring.

  23. Bothell 300 ft elevation

    4" snow overnight; then it snowed heavily all morning until 1 pm and added another 2".

    I've kept a fairly careful record, measuring a spot that I shoveled the day before, and I think we received 25" total since 12/17.

    Okay, you can stop now.

  24. Update from Bob Moore and my more savvy wife Jo in Lake Forest Park

    First, re my long posting just above, I said:
    "But I'm betting (hoping, maybe praying?) that there are other more environment-friendly water-soluble chemicals which lower the freezing point of H20 below 32 degrees F like Sodium Chloride does. Or, if not, can we "invent" new ones to do that job, maybe even organic products from our sister plants?

    [Skip the "heat up" paragraph...]

    With our science and technology, we MUST be able to discover/invent environmentally sound ways to melt ice and snow off of our roads, streets, roofs, powerlines, and maybe even at-risk trees!"

    Jo reports that on a recent KUOW show, probably The Conversation at 1-2PM on Tuesday or Wednesday, there was a long discussion of a new "salt-substitute" product that is at least "advertised" as being "green, environment-friendly" and that many call-ins reported that was working well on their walks, driveways, stairs, and maybe even roofs? Jo can't recall the exact name, and the KUOW website Search function can't find anything in The Conversation this week about Transportation or Environment, but if we call host Ross Reynolds tomorrow he'll probably recall the needed details. Jo also reports that other call-ins expressed doubts that the Environmental Impact of this product had been sufficiently assessed that SDOT could start using it as a salt substitute. Unfortunately, I was too preoccupied with email or postings on this site, or too engrossed in singalongs with "Lunch with Folks" on KUOW's NPR sister station KBCS 91.3 FM "35 Years A World of Music and Ideas"
    to have joined The Conversation this time.

    So, I/we are hoping that other fans and Comment Posters for this blog heard the show, recall more details, and may even have personal experiences with this "mystery product" to share with Cliff and us. Can we all clean off our walks, stairs and driveways with an environmentally safe salt substitute? And, should we urge SDOT to follow suit, and other municipalities like our Lake Forest Park to REPLACE "salt and sand" by a better mix?


    Another note on snow impact:

    (1)the snow on our Puget Sound Solar Photovoltaic panels has zeroed out solar KWH and DC/AC Inverter on-times for 3 of the last 5 days, with at most 2 hours on and .75KWH the other 2 days, and
    (2)the similar effect on our Solar Water Heater panels has them reporting at most 35 degrees on our roof in mid-day, now toggling between 31 and 32, in agreement with our outdoor thermometer 8' high on the North wall in our garden shed, 4' below the N roofline (with only a tiny SE wind-vent 10' away, so the shed usually reports 1-2 degrees lower than our Subaru Outback station wagon 30' lower on the street does before it warms up. Also, the shed's South-slope black composite shingle roof is usually shaded out by our 90' high, 30' wide at base Red Cedar SSW and Japanese Cherry WSW, with no leaves but lots of snow this week, so the shed gets little solar heating, and that mainly heats air near the roof 4' above the thermometer.)

    We'd guess that about half of our snow pack has now melted, but with rain and now sub-freezing temps, the rest is rock-hard, so our Welsh corgi doggie can stand on top of it without breaking through, will break his teeth if he tries to gobble some down as he loves to do, and this will spoil the fun when he tries to roll in it!(I wouldn't be surprised to see an Alaskan huskie, or even a UW Husky, act like that, but our daughter's visiting corgi is like Queen Elizabeth's pets and hardly an Arctic Snowdog beastie! What about WSU Cougars?)

    Again, this hasn't posted for 10 minutes after my first try, maybe because I had it all highlighted to copy to my Word Comment Archive, so I'm going to retry, since last time I only saw the second copy posted (Jo claims she saw 2, so maybe someone else deleted the first one?)


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