Thanksgiving morning brings a little more snow

Happy Thanksgiving! A little more snow is falling in Ballard this morning, but temperatures are warming up. As of 8 a.m., it’s already 32 degrees, and rising. Snow will turn to rain a little later in the day, which should melt away all that ice.

15th and Market traffic camera. Refresh for latest. More here.

Metro says it’s running on a Sunday schedule on snow routes today and reduced weekday service tomorrow. Enjoy your Thanksgiving, and we’ll post some photos from the Turkey Trot later today!

Ballard Turkey Trot is on for Thursday

Organizers with the Turkey Trot tell us that the 5k walk/run/jog is still on for Thursday, despite the weather.

Scene from the 2009 Turkey Trot.

So far more than 1500 people have signed up for the 5k, organizer Mary Beth Lambert tells us. Participants who have pre-registered can stop by the Ballard Food Bank on Wednesday between 4-8pm to pick up shirts. All proceeds benefit the Ballard Food Bank.

The National Weather Service says the Thanksgiving Day weather will be “cloudy with a chance of rain… possibly beginning as snow in the morning. Highs in the upper 30s to mid-40s. South wind 10 to 15 MPH.”

The Turkey Trot starts at 32nd Ave NW and NW 85th St at 9 a.m. and ends at Golden Gardens Park. You can see the route here.

Another cold day around Seattle

More people are venturing out today. Here is a link to Ballard-area traffic cams.

Do you have a traffic report to share? Please post in comments…

Here are updates from the Seattle Department of Transportation:

SDOT continues working to prevent freezing on snow routes:

  • Currently the City has 17 trucks with salt spreaders and two flusher trucks deployed.
  • Snow routes are in good condition.
  • There was no significant re-freezing of cleared roadways during the past 24 hours.
  • There are no significant problems on the snow route network.
  • The Alaskan Way Viaduct and the West Seattle High Rise Bridge are bare and dry.
  • Focus is on reopening closed roads. The Seattle Police Department and SDOT are working to review roads currently closed and will update the list online.
  • The City will continue the same level of deployed vehicles for the morning commute; focus will be on efforts to prevent re-freezing, address trouble spots on Level 3 routes, and bring more roads off the closed list.
  • Because of the possibility of precipitation today leading to the formation of black ice tonight, some roads will remain closed.
  • 24 hour shifts will continue through Thursday, November 25.
  • 6:30 a.m.: Today is looking to be another cold day around Puget Sound. With a record-breaking low temperature of 14 degrees at Sea-Tac overnight, the forecast for today calls for highs in the upper 20s to low 30s.

    A look at Ballard Avenue on Tuesday evening.

    Here are some quick notes:

  • Seattle Schools are closed again today. No school and no activities.
  • No residential garbage, yard waste or recycling pick-ups Wednesday, November 24. If today is your collection day, you can put double the trash out next week.
  • Early this morning the University of Washington decided to cancel all classes. Essential services remain open.
  • Libraries will be open from noon to 5 p.m. today.
  • Metro Transit is once again running on snow routes.
  • Here are some pictures sent to us by MyBallard readers –

    “This is Logan heading up to Loyal Heights playfield to sled, Jessica writes.”


    Silver shot this photo Tuesday morning. “The sun rises over Phinney Ridge.”


    Ballardmama says, “This is how our dog and cat stay warm when it’s 17 degrees out.”

    Most stay home as ice rules the roads

    5 p.m. Seattle Public Schools just announced there’s no school on Wednesday. “Enjoy your Thanksgiving break,” school officials say. As for the forecast, tomorrow will be partly sunny with temps in the mid 20s to near 30 — so the snow and ice will stay for a bit longer. On Thanksgiving, forecasters say we could begin the day with a little snow, but turning to rain later in the day.

    Brett sent us this photo of a tree that fell over at Golden Gardens.

    Also from Golden Gardens, Bryan sent us this photo (more here). “Apparently somebody couldn’t resist the urge to drive all over the grass and do several doughnuts and slides in the fresh snow,” he said. “I saw some extensive damage to the grass in front of the bathhouse and the grass area to the north.”

    4 p.m.  Here are the highlights with the latest snow updates from the city:

    • Residents and businesses are advised they are responsible for clearing the sidewalks in front of their homes or businesses.
    • As of 2pm, SDOT had eight plow/spreader trucks operating in the north end.
    • No decision yet on whether garbage, recycling and yard waste will be picked up Wednesday.
    • SPD will not cite routine parking violations or overtime/peak violations but will tow cars blocking streets.
    • All locations of the Seattle Public Library will be open noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday.

    2 p.m.  We just wrapped up a quick tour to check road conditions.  As mentioned earlier, the arterials are in great shape with 15th Ave itself being bare and wet.  Surprisingly, Market east of 15th is a slushy mess in spots.

    Market Street near McDonald’s

    The sun has done wonders, with even some of the side streets becoming easy to navigate.  But for streets in the shade, conditions are still dangerous.  Below is a shot of 67th Street near Ballard High.


    NW 67th Street just off 15th Ave

    We spotted a lot of people walking to the Ballard Market and Safeway instead of taking their cars.

    At least one postal carrier was prepared for the weather.

    11:30 a.m.  Thanks to those of you who sent emails about a fire inside an apartment building this morning in the 6500 block of 24th Ave NW.  MyBallard reader Silver posted in the forum that water was all over 65th and 24th as crews put out the fire and they requested sand to make sure the water didn’t freeze.  She says 24th is now back open.  Seattle Fire tells us the fire was confined to the kitchen of one unit.

    11:00 a.m.  More people are starting to venture out.  Arterials like 15th Ave. are in good shape but the side streets are still very tricky.  We also received a cute photo from MyBallard reader Mary who wanted to share an image of her grandchildren Sabine and Milo in the snow.

    9:30 a.m. Public libraries will open at 1 p.m. today as “warming centers,” the mayor’s office says. Since most people are staying home today, many of you will be out playing in the snow. Be safe if you decide to break out the sled. Send us some fun snow photos at tips@myballard.com.

    And if you haven’t seen it yet, take a look at Queen Anne View’s coverage (and video) of cars sliding and crashing down the Counterbalance last night.

    8 a.m. A look at our Ballard-area traffic cameras shows that most people are heeding the advice to stay put today. Traffic is lighter than a weekend.

    Traffic camera 15th and Market St. Refresh every couple minutes

    And Seattle Public Utilities says garbage, recycling and yard waste service is canceled today “due to dangerous road conditions.” Missed customers will be collected next Tuesday, November 30, and allowed to set out double their normal amount of garbage at no additional charge. Also, the University of Washington has canceled operations and classes today. If you’re planning on flying out of Sea-Tac this morning, Alaska Airlines says employees are having trouble getting to work, so many flights may be late.

    6:25 a.m. Metro announced that Route 18 rerouted off 24th Av NW between NW 65th St & NW 85th St northbound only. It is traveling northbound via 32nd Av NW instead.

    5 a.m.: Metro just announced that Route 44 is not traveling west of the U District. It is not serving Wallingford or Ballard due to icy streets.

    4 a.m.: Officials are urging people to stay home on Tuesday if at all possible. For many, though, Tuesday is just a continuation of Monday.

    Jeremy sent us this after 1:30 a.m. looking south on 24th towards 67th.

    Ballardite Paul Balcerak is still at work near 3rd Ave and Broad after waiting more than an hour for the 15 and 18 bus late last night. Early this morning he called Yellow Cab and was told to try again at 8 a.m. “On the upside,” on Twitter he writes, “I had time this morning to change @FoxTheDog‘s Facebook photo.”

  • At 3:30 this morning, @MomBug Tweeted this road report: “Market untouched west of Ballard Ave, 24th untouched, 15th sanded one lane north.”
  • King County Metro Transit is once again working snow routes. Linda Thielke with Metro says that more than a dozen bus routes have been canceled because of the driving conditions. Here is the link to check on changes.
  • Just a reminder that Seattle Public Schools have canceled all classes and activities on Tuesday.
  • According to the weather report, we’re going to stay cold and possibly frozen for a couple of days:

    TUESDAY…SUNNY. HIGHS IN THE 20S. NORTH WIND 5 TO 15 MPH.

    TUESDAY NIGHT…MOSTLY CLEAR. LOWS 8 TO 15. NORTHEAST WIND TO 10 MPH IN THE EVENING BECOMING LIGHT.

    WEDNESDAY…MOSTLY SUNNY. HIGHS IN THE MID 20S TO LOWER 30S. SOUTHEAST WIND TO 10 MPH.

    WEDNESDAY NIGHT…MOSTLY CLOUDY. LOWS IN THE 20S TO LOWER 30S. SOUTH WIND TO 10 MPH.

    THANKSGIVING DAY…CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF SNOW IN THE MORNING…THEN A CHANCE OF RAIN IN THE AFTERNOON. HIGHS IN THE LOWER 40S.

  • Do you have a traffic report to share? Please post in comments…

    Snow, wind making for a miserable night

    11 p.m. A dramatic scene at 46th and Phinney just after 10 p.m. when a car bursts into flames. “A passer-by smashed driver window to check for occupants. Fire was well under way at this time,” wrote Andrew in an email with this photo.

    “Was burning for around 10 minutes before the fire department arrived,” he said. There’s no report of any injuries.

    10 p.m. What a night. We’ve heard from several drivers who said it took as long as two to three hours to drive home to Ballard from downtown Seattle. Even at this late hour, the Washington State Patrol says “it’s horrible gridlock out there” on some of the major freeways — I-5 at Lake City Way is a problem spot — and with a 25 degree temperature, ice has formed on many roadways. Seattle Police reported as many as 200 metro buses are stuck. And keep in mind, SDOT doesn’t clear the side streets, so be careful.


    Bergen Place photographed late tonight by Emily

    And the morning commute won’t be any better. High temperatures on Tuesday are expected to stay in the 20s, so the ice (unless SDOT is able to spread salt on it) will still be slippery as ever. SDOT says it will be working on the major routes throughout the night, but the advice from many officials is clear: stay home. We’ll have updates beginning early in the morning.

    Cassandra sent us this video of snow tonight in the Adams area:

    8:25 p.m. All Seattle public schools will be closed tomorrow.

    7:05 p.m. Temperatures plunged this afternoon (27 degrees at last check) and the wind kicked up, creating icy roadways and grinding the evening commute to a halt. My Ballard reader Silver reports sheets of snow blowing off the roof of both the Ballard Market and Grease Monkey as seen in the video below (be sure to turn your volume down before watching).

    It goes without saying — driving conditions are dangerous. Ballard’s top two danger spots typically are Market St. up to Fremont and that little dip down 85th to Aurora Ave. — no word on actual conditions there, so if you’ve just driven it, please leave a comment below. Conditions are often dependent on whether SDOT trucks have been able to make a recent run.

    Meanwhile, our sister sites Queen Anne View, Magnolia Voice and My Wallingford are all reporting (with photos) traffic troubles there. Cars are slipping and sliding.


    SDOT trucks hitting I-5 in the University District just after 6:30 p.m.

    Elsewhere, the Viaduct has been closed due to ice, along with the Battery St. tunnel. There are accidents along I-5 in North Seattle, and earlier, along a slick Aurora Bridge. The West Seattle Bridge is all but stopped. SDOT is operating 22 trucks with salt and plows, and four with liquid brine. Here’s our page of Ballard-area traffic cameras. And you can follow SDOT traffic updates on Twitter here and WSDOT here.

    3 p.m. Forecasters say the next couple of hours will bring us the most intense snow before things finally calm down. The wind isn’t helping things. The Seattle Parks department is closing all community centers programs scheduled after 6pm as well as all athletic fields.


    Photo of St. Alphonsus playground from Kristen

    1 p.m. Our intern Tyler Steele came across a crash in Crown Hill this morning. A couple tells Tyler they were building a snowman in their driveway when they heard a car slam into the tree across from their duplex at 9520 Holman Rd. N.W., right on the corner of 9th Ave. N.W.

    “We heard the aftermath—sliding, it hitting the pole and then finally hitting the tree,” said Erin Haven.

    Three cars were involved in the crash. Sok Khann, who got tangled up in the wreck, said “I was in the far right lane, heading up the hill on 9th Ave. N.W., parallel to the driver that got hit first—pushing him into me. After that, he ended up in the tree.”

    He added that everyone walked away from the crash without any visible injuries.

    12:45pm The community meeting on changes to the Seattle Public Schools student assignment plan that was set for tonight at Ingraham High School is canceled due to the weather.

    12:30 p.m. A new forecast from the National Weather Service says most the snow will move in before 7 p.m. tonight for total possible accumulation of 2-4 inches. As much as another 1-2 inches tonight. Complicating matters will be winds with gusts as high as 40 miles per hour. Stay safe out there!

    10:45 a.m. We’re adding some new photos taken about 10 this morning in downtown Ballard where streets are bare and wet. Bergen Place, the Ballard library, and Ballard Commons Park only have a dusting of snow. In fact, it’s tough to even make a decent snowball. No problems at all on the Ballard Bridge and 15th Ave into downtown is totally clear.


    Bergen Place


    Ballard library


    Ballard Commons Park

    10 a.m. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for Seattle until 10 p.m. tonight. Forecasters say more snow is on the way this afternoon, along with high wind gusts.


    Photo of 9th Ave. NW in East Ballard by Sean

    The biggest traffic trouble spot right now is the Aurora Bridge, which is covered with ice. There have been two accidents so far (photo). SDOT says it has deployed its snow plows “to patrol snow routes and treat problem spots.” If you’re wondering what the main thoroughfares look like, make sure to check out this page with all the Ballard-area traffic cams.


    SDOT camera at 15th and Market (refresh to see updates every couple minutes)

    Forecasters say this is just the first wave. This afternoon, more snow is expected that could leave a total of 1-3 inches of total accumulation.


    Traffic camera at 85th and Market

    As we mentioned last night, Metro buses are on snow routes today.

    5:55 a.m. from Seattle Public Schools:

    Today middle and high schools will start at the regular time, but will dismiss early at 12:35 p.m. This is due to the fact that snow is expected later in the afternoon. The elementary and K-8 Parent-Teacher conferences will proceed today as planned.

    And here’s the latest forecast from the National Weather Service:

    Cloudy with snow flurries this morning. Snow at times this afternoon. Snow accumulation 1 to 3 inches. Becoming windy. North wind 10 to 15 MPH increasing to 20 to 30 MPH this afternoon. Temperatures near 30.

    Check the forum for reports from many Ballardites. Have updates of your own? Post them in comments below, and send us photos to tips@myballard.com.

    Ballard Food Bank desperate for turkeys

    In the middle of all this snow (coverage here), the Ballard Food Bank (5130 Leary Avenue NW) needs immediate help this Thanksgiving.

    We received a note from Nancy McKinney from the Ballard Food Bank about a shortage of turkeys for families the Food Bank serves. “We are woefully short of turkeys this year,” McKinney writes. “We only have 60 in house with 600 families to feed. We are distributing food on Tuesday from 2:30 pm – 6:30 pm and again on Wednesday from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm. Donations can be received: Tuesday from 8 am to 6:30 pm; Wednesday 8 am until 1:00 pm.”

    The food bank is located near Carter VW on Leary.

    Metro buses on snow routes Monday morning

    Metro has announced that all bus service during Monday morning’s commute will be on snow routes.

    The Monday forecast from the National Weather Service indicates that cold temperatures and more moisture could cause snowfall in King County starting in the morning and lasting throughout the day.

    The local forecast includes the possibility of 1 to 2 inches of snow, plus north winds gusting up to 37 mph. Check Metro Online. The link is a little confusing, but it shows both transit alerts and, by scrolling down, the snow routes for buses.

    Meanwhile, SDOT says it’s “applying salt brine to hills, curves, and known icy spots” on Sunday evening, and it has trucks on standby for the Monday commute. Looks like everyone is on full snow alert.