Friday, February 08, 2019

Seattle Readies For Snow Storm, We Decide To Get Closer To Airport

We have tickets for tomorrow back to San Francisco for more grandkid duty.  But our daughter warned us a storm was coming.

* WHAT...Heavy snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 4 to 6inches expected. Local snowfall accumulations of 8 inches. Northto northeast winds will increase late tonight and Saturday to 15to 30 mph with some local gusts to 45 mph. The wind will likelyreduce visibility at times due to blowing snow, especially nearshorelines of the inland waters.
* WHERE...Portions of northwest and west central Washington,including Seattle, Everett, Tacoma, Bremerton, Bellevue, NorthBend, Redmond, Kent, Port Angeles, Sequim, Oak Harbor, and MountVernon.
* WHEN...From Noon today to 4 PM PST Saturday. The heaviestsnowfall accumulations for most of the area will occur between 3PM this afternoon and 10 PM this evening.
* ADDITIONAL DETAILS...A period of 2 inch per hour snowfallaccumulations is likely during todays late afternoon and eveningcommute in the Tacoma, Everett, Seattle, and Bremerton area.Travel is likely to become very difficult. Areas of blowing snowcould contribute to reduced visibility late tonight intoSaturday.

The island is a 35 minute ferry ride from downtown Seattle.  Then it's a short walk to the train, and about 40 more minutes to the airport.  And when storms hit the island, trees fall onto power lines and people lose power for days sometimes.  And they said the ferry can't dock if there's no power.

But the ferry only comes once an hour so last time we had to get the 7:05am ferry to get to a 10:45am flight.  (The 7:55am ferry probably would have gotten us there on time, but if anything went wrong on the way we'd have missed our flight.)

Snow falling as we depart ferry,  barely see Seattle buildings
So we decided we should get a room near the airport for tonight.  But that was easier said than done.  Everything in the SEATAC area was full.  I finally got a room at Motel 6.  We could check in at 3pm.

Last night the snow wasn't going to start for real until about 3pm so we decided on the 1:15pm ferry.  But we decided if we were packed we could go for the 12:20 ferry.  And then we learned the advisory had been moved up to snow beginning at noon.  So as we were walking to the ferry, the first flakes began.

We walked up to the Link (light rail) station past Pioneer Square.  If you click on these pics you can see the snow.  They were big flake and coming down seriously.

As Alaskans we take all this snow preparation as a little strange, but they don't have the plowing equipment and they don't have snow tires or studs, and there are lots of hills.

The train station was a surprise.  It looked like everyone had decided to take the afternoon off to get home before the snow got bad.  The buses and trains were packed.  After not being able to get on the first two trains, we got a little pushier for the third.

This was after things got a little better.

By the time we got to the SeaTac station, the snow was sticking on the side streets and sidewalk, but
it was less than a mile walk so we enjoyed the snow.  We've reduced our luggage to one carryon and two backpacks.  (We've heard about but haven't watched Marie Kondo.  We've generally traveled light enough so we can walk with our stuff if we have to, but for this week in San Francisco we've rethought anything that had any weight.  Here's the view from our no frills hotel room - but there is heat, to compensate for the gaps in the door frame.

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