I was lucky last night. It only took me two hours to get home from a temp assignment, on what is ordinarily a 45 minute commute.
The snow keeps falling, on and on and on and on. You can see from these pictures, in comparison to those two days ago, the snow was deeper last night. I'm using my full Alaska gear with the robber mask, as the wind chill makes it feel like 13 degrees Fahrenheit, or lower. Sometimes it's snow; sometimes it's just hail, accumulating in small pristine pebbles. By 11:30 at night, people were still trying to get home- most freeways and surface streets were at a standstill with a nice sheen of ice covering the roads and providing for multiple accidents. Schools are closed everywhere and power is out to 40,000 homes. The first Seahawks home game ever was played in the snow- a kick-off temperature of 34 degrees Fahrenheit. (We beat the Packers.) Towns hurt worst by the previous flooding are now seeing a couple feet of snow, in one evening. It is rare to see this much snow, this early in the year, and we tied the record for cold set in the storm of '95. But it's in keeping with the prediction that Global Warming will lead to more extreme weather, and hit the Northwest exceptionally hard. With this snowfall our precipitation this month in Seattle is 15.08"- just shy of the record of 15.33" in 1933.
This morning I turned on the news to learn that some people never made it home. They stayed up all night in convenience stores drinking coffee, and then left for their morning commute. Cars are abandoned all over Western Washington. I took the bus in to the same temp job. But we have cable cars, and that means they can't back up or turn right. Our cable car bus stalled because another cable car was stalled in front of us, and that one stalled because a diesel bus had slid and needed to be towed away. We all got out and walked to another bus- I walked 1.2 miles on slippery black ice down the hill to my next transfer. On the way I took this picture. Notice anything strange? It's 726 in the morning. In Seattle, on the I-5. What's missing? Gridlock.
Many in the area just didn't even bother coming into work today.
But for all that, I haven't really experienced anything major. The combination of icy roads, power outages, and extreme cold have resulted in a few deaths from this storm as well. And the bad storm comes tomorrow evening.