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Seattle Snowpocalypse Feb 8-12 2019 Megathread

Seattle Snowpocalypse Feb 8-12 2019 Megathread

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Old Feb 6, 19, 4:38 pm
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Seattle Snowpocalypse Feb 8-12 2019 Megathread

Thought I'd start a thread here on FT to cover some of the water cooler conversation that's happening here in town, because forecasts are starting to point to a major weather event this weekend that's likely to impact Seattle-Tacoma travel well into next week.

Essentially, on top of the snow we've already received this week, Seattle is destined for two more snowstorms: one Friday night into Sunday morning that could drop ~3-6" of snow, and another one Monday-Tuesday that will add another 3-6". At the worst, we could be in for over a foot of snow - there are a few models that predict even higher accumulation amounts around Puget Sound (with the European model predicting up to 20" total.)

The hyperbole in the thread title will almost certainly prompt a heartily deserved eyeroll from our friends in MSP and DTW, but Seattle almost never sees this much snow - less than once per decade. We simply don't have the snow removal equipment to handle it, and combined with all the hills in town, an event like this will shut down the city for multiple days. That will likely extend to the airport, as well - the last snow event caused major cancellations at SEA, and it was much less severe than this one is being predicted to be.

Some discussion from local weather sources:

- Cliff Mass (a respected, if a bit hyperbolic, local forecaster/professor/weather blogger) (current prediction 6in Fri-Sat + 6in Mon-Tue)
- KOMO TV (current prediction 3-6 in Fri-Sat + slightly less 2-5 in Tuesday)
- Weather Underground (prediction 4-8 in Fri-Sat + 5-8 in Monday)
- European ECMWF Model (prediction 6-8 in Fri-Sat + 8 to 12 in Monday-Tuesday)

We're still too far out for weather waivers to be issued yet - predicting snow around here is famously sketchy - but the models are starting to converge, and if you're planning travel to or through SEA in this timeframe it's probably time to start thinking about alternatives. If you're planning work travel here early next week, it's likely your colleagues won't be in the office and the whole city will be shut down for a "work from home" day (translation: hot chocolate and sledding). If you're simply connecting, I expect the airport will probably recover within 24 hours of each precipitation event stopping, but as long as the snow is falling it's going to be ugly, and cold temperatures could mean heavy deicing delays that aren't planned into the schedule like they would be in other stations. The view of Mt. Rainier from the A SkyClub sure will be pretty, though!

I'll try to post new information as we get it, and would encourage others to as well. I suspect we'll get a weather waiver sometime tomorrow afternoon once the forecast firms up, and by then hopefully the impact will be a little more clear of the storm.

(Of course, this snow event could turn out to be nothing, in which case I'll cheerfully accept a mocking thread title change by the mods and slink back to the Lounge thread where I belong. )


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Old Feb 6, 19, 6:10 pm
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The few inches that arrived on Sunday basically shut down my office in downtown Seattle for 2 days..

If this arrives as-is, it reminds me of the snow event maybe 5-6 years ago that shut down everything for almost a week.
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Old Feb 6, 19, 6:14 pm
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yeah that was in december 2008. We got 20+ inches in north suburbs
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Old Feb 6, 19, 6:17 pm
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Originally Posted by jeet View Post
yeah that was in december 2008. We got 20+ inches in north suburbs
My relation to time is not that great, hah! It was over 10 years ago then not just 5-6 years
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Old Feb 6, 19, 6:22 pm
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Originally Posted by pulpfiction78 View Post
My relation to time is not that great, hah! It was over 10 years ago then not just 5-6 years
well 2012 was also in the 8+ inch range so you might have been referring to that...
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Old Feb 6, 19, 6:50 pm
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After conferring with another DL forum Mod, this thread is going to the PNW Destinations forum.

Were one to be a little competitive and compare DL/DL Connection cancellations over the period to AS/QX cancellations, that would be fairly DL-related.

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Old Feb 6, 19, 7:30 pm
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Originally Posted by jeet View Post
yeah that was in december 2008. We got 20+ inches in north suburbs
Right before winter break too, had an extra week off of school before my break. And famously, the snow arrived a day later, where the first forecasted day all schools were cancelled without a flake of snow.
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Old Feb 6, 19, 7:33 pm
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Originally Posted by jeet View Post
yeah that was in december 2008. We got 20+ inches in north suburbs
Was just about to post about 2008. I was in PDX (Vancouver, WA to be exact) and it was a lot of snow over multiple days. Think the total in our area was close to 14" and there was an ice storm mixed in the middle of it all. CIty was shut down for a few days.

Here is a link to the storm:

https://expo.oregonlive.com/news/err...08-blizza.html
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Old Feb 6, 19, 8:44 pm
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The European Model was the only one that predicted the correct path of SUPER STORM SANDY which clobbered the NE.
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Old Feb 6, 19, 9:10 pm
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Originally Posted by nrr View Post
The European Model was the only one that predicted the correct path of SUPER STORM SANDY which clobbered the NE.
Anything else besides Sandy that the model got "correct"? Something more recent and more than one event?

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Old Feb 6, 19, 9:46 pm
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Originally Posted by DELee View Post
Anything else besides Sandy that the model got "correct"? Something more recent and more than one event?

David
I don't have an another example, but from what I've been reading the European model is generally more accurate than NOAA GFS.

There's an interesting article about it on Ars Technica
https://arstechnica.com/science/2016/03/the-european-forecast-model-already-kicking-americas-butt-just-improved/
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Old Feb 6, 19, 11:25 pm
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Originally Posted by DELee View Post
Anything else besides Sandy that the model got "correct"? Something more recent and more than one event?

David
Yes - the snowstorm in Seattle this past Sun/Mon was accurately predicted by the European model (it called for 4”) while the other models predicted an inch or less.
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Old Feb 7, 19, 10:47 am
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So far, seems like at least the first storm is still on track. The National Weather Service is upgrading its prediction and now the guess for Puget Sound is closer to 5-8 inches in the first (Fri-Sat) event:




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Old Feb 7, 19, 5:45 pm
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[moderator edit] the weather waiver is now out right on schedule from Delta for the first, more certain snow event. It covers flights on Friday and Saturday, but not Sunday or beyond yet:

https://www.delta.com/us/en/advisori...winter-weather

Last edited by NewbieRunner; Feb 7, 19 at 11:39 pm Reason: Redacted comment on moderation
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Old Feb 7, 19, 6:26 pm
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AS is putting out a waiver for Saturday.

https://www.alaskaair.com/content/ad...ePage_Advisory
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