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Sea-Tac, airlines, area hotels prepare for winter storm

Hotels, airlines, Sea-Tac Airport are preparing for winter storm around the Puget Sound area.

By Carol Pucci

Seattle Times travel writer

Sea-Tac Airport crews are working 12-hour shifts.

Alaska Airlines has reserved rooms near the airport for employees.

Some downtown hotels are offering special rates — all in anticipation of snow that could snarl travel around the Puget Sound area.

“We’re getting quite a few people calling and booking rooms in anticipation of snow,” said a desk clerk at the DoubleTree Hotel at Sea-Tac, where all 850 rooms were booked by early Tuesday with travelers and airline personnel.

Taking advantage of what’s normally a slow period, many downtown Seattle hotels are offering snow specials.

Kimpton Hotels, which owns the Hotel Vintage Park, Hotel Monaco and Alexis Hotel, is offering rooms at 32 percent (as in 32 degrees) off its best available rates, plus free parking and restaurant discounts Tuesday through the weekend.

The Mayflower Park Hotel is offering rooms starting at $99 Tuesday and Wednesday and perhaps longer, depending on the weather, said reservations manager Craig Packer. Also offering $99 specials Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are the Maxwell Hotel, Hotel Five, University Inn and Watertown Hotel.

The Paramount Seattle hotel is running a $109 special Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Manager Matt Murphy said the 146-room hotel was 70 percent booked by Tuesday afternoon, and it planned to put up staff in some of the rooms.

Airlines

Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, which handle about 50 percent of the passenger traffic in and out of Sea-Tac, have reserved hotel rooms near the airport for employees, and has plenty of de-icing fluid on hand to weather a storm, said spokeswoman Bobbie Egan.

The airlines had to cancel or delay flights during a storm in 2010, citing treacherous road conditions that prevented some employees from getting to work. In 2008, they shut down completely, the result of weather-related problems, including a shortage of de-icing fluid.

Alaska said it would waive change fees for passengers with tickets for flights departing Seattle or Portland Tuesday through Thursday, providing travel is rescheduled by Sunday. Passengers can also request a refund. The airline said it would accept no unaccompanied minors through Thursday. Virgin America is offering to rebook passengers on flights scheduled to depart Tuesday and Wednesday, with no change fees or difference in fares, provided they travel no later than Tuesday, Jan. 24.

Sea-Tac Airport

Sea-Tac Airport crews have been on snow alert for several days, preparing to keep two of the airport’s three runways open at all times, said spokesman Perry Cooper.

Temperature gauges in the runways tell crews when to begin de-icing, and crews perform skid-testing at three different points on each runway.

The airport has emergency supplies, blankets and food available in case passengers get stranded and have to spend the night, Cooper said. Restaurants and shops have been ordering extra food and drinks in anticipation of the weather disrupting deliveries.

If you’re flying

Some things to know if you are planning to fly this week:

• Check your airline’s website or call to check the status of your flight before going to the airport. Flight cancellation and delay info is also available at www.portseattle.org/Sea-Tac.

• If your flight is canceled, you’ll be offered a refund or a chance to reschedule, but don’t expect the airline to pay for a hotel room or meals. When it comes to delays or cancellations caused by mechanical problems, crew shortages, etc., airlines will often provide compensation, but not for weather-related problems.

• Plan to leave for the airport in plenty of time to arrive two hours before your flight. The busiest time for departures out of Sea-Tac is between 6 and 8:30 a.m.

Carol Pucci: cpucci@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @carolpucci.


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RPIN – View News Release

Quoted from http://www.rpin.org/rpinweb

/ViewPosting.aspx?PostingID=1955:

 

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Kent Severe Weather Shelter
Kent, City of
Release Date and Time: 02-23-2011 11:10:00 AM
 

The City of Kent is opening the Severe Weather Shelter (SWS) tonight at Kent Lutheran Church for the evenings of Wednesday February 23rd, Thursday February 24th, and Friday February 25th due to predicted dangerously low temperatures and snow.

 

Kent Lutheran Church

 

336 2nd Avenue South
Kent, WA 98032-5849

 

9 P.M. – Check-in and registration
7 A.M. – shelter closes, clients must vacate

 

 

 

Priority is given to homeless families with children who are living on the streets or in vehicles, but the SWS is also available for single women and men (separate sleeping space has been prepared for single men, women, and for families with children). The SWS will be operated by Catholic Community Services staff, and volunteers from Kent Lutheran Church and the Kent community.

 

The SWS will open at 9 P.M. Clients must register at the door. As with all shelters, rules for the health and safety of all clients and staff and the broader community will apply.

 

 

 

City of Kent: Housing and Human Services 253-856-5070

Kent Emergency Management: 253-856-4440

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The Regional Public Information Network (RPIN) is a regional partnership hosted by King County. Content is solely the responsibility of contributing agencies. For questions about news releases, contact the issuing agency. Links to external sites do not constitute endorsements by RPIN agencies. By visiting this Web page, you expressly agree to be bound by terms and conditions of the site.

 

 

Some rivers crest; others continue to rise

Quoted from http://www.seattlepi.com/local/433547_floods.html:

 

Some rivers crest; others continue to rise

Some rivers crest; others continue to rise

 

By SCOTT SUNDE
SEATTLEPI.COM STAFF

Some rivers continue to rise in Western Washington and will likely crest later Monday.

The worst flooding, the National Weather Service said, is on the Snoqualmie River in King County and Cowlitz River in Lewis County. There also may be moderate to major flooding along the Snohomish River.

The Weather Service has an interactive map with which you can check on flooding at various locations. It also has a map that shows the flooding forecast for Western Washington rivers.

Some rivers, fed by the weekend’s heavy rains in the mountains, are beginning to recede or are about to.

The rain of the last several days has saturated soils and increased the dangers of landslides.

More rain ought to fall Monday. In Seattle, showers are most likely before 10 a.m.

But rain will be light and scattered over the Western Washington lowlands on Monday afternoon, the National Weather Service says. About 0.6 to 1.2 inches of rain could fall in the Cascades, but the Weather Service says that should not add to flooding problems.

Temperatures also will be lower than in the past several days, with nighttime lows in Seattle in the 40s on Monday and 30s on Tuesday. In the mountains, the snow level will fall Monday from 4,500 to 3,000 feet.

The National Weather Service has issued a series of flood warnings and watches.

Early Monday, the flood warning was extended to smaller streams in north central King County. Runoff has filled small streams, and they are flooding some areas.

The Snoqualmie River is experiencing major flooding between Fall City to Carnation. The river is expected to crest at 11 a.m. at 59 feet near Carnation.

For information on road closures in King County, go here.

Flood warnings also are in effect for Nooksack River at North Cedarville in Whatcom County, the Skagit River near Concrete and Mount Vernon in Skagit County and the Stillaguamish River near Arlington in Snohomish County.

Those rivers are expected to crest Monday morning.

Flood warnings also continue for the Skykomish River near Gold Bar in Snohomish County, the Snohomish River at Snohomish and Monroe in Snohomish County, the Cedar River near Landsburg and Renton in King County and the Green River near Auburn in King County.

The Cedar River is expected to crest Monday afternoon in Renton, causing minor flooding. It is likely to crest Monday morning at Landsburg.

The Green River was above flood stage at Auburn early Monday and is expected to cause minor flooding.

The Skykomish River should crest around 10 a.m. Monday. The Snohomish should crest about 10 a.m. at Monroe and 2 p.m. at Snohomish.

There are also flood warnings for the Puyallup River near Orting in Pierce County, the Cowlitz River at Randle in Lewis County, the Skookumchuk River near Bucoda in Lewis and Thurston counties and the Chehalis River near Grand Mound in Thurston County.

The Puyallup ought to crest about 10 a.m. Monday and begin falling below flood stage Monday afternoon.

The Cowlitz River is causing major flooding, but has crested.

The Skookumchuck crested Sunday night and caused minor flooding.

The Chehalis River is causing minor flooding and is expected to crest at 4 p.m. Monday.

Scott Sunde can be reached at 206-448-8331

or scottsunde@seattlepi.com.

Follow Scott on Twitter at twitter.com/scottsunde.

Severe Weather and Possible Snow?

Weather Alerts for Tacoma and Greater Puget Sound Region

There is snow in the forecast for later in the day on Tuesday, and it could begin falling
during the afternoon commute.

That situation could create very different morning and afternoon travel conditions for bus riders. 

Transit users are advised to plan ahead for afternoon and evening trips that could be disrupted,
delayed, reduced, or on snow routing.

Even though weather in the morning may be clear, leave from a bus stop or park-and-ride that also
has service when buses are on snow routes in case travel conditions deteriorate by the afternoon commute. 

Give yourself extra time to reach your evening destination. Busescould be crowded in the early part 
of the afternoon commute if everyone tries to get home before snowfall is the heaviest.
 

Metro is urging bus riders to prepare by visiting Metro Online and knowing the snow routing for the
buses they will ride tomorrow.
 

Then, before traveling, riders should check for the most current status of Metro service. Updates to
online information begin as early as 4 a.m. and continue as needed until the storm is over.
 

A Tuesday snowfall could create challenges for all vehicles, especially if the snow begins to fall during
the afternoon commute. Bus operations could change rapidly. 

Here are some tips for bus travel if it does snow: 
 

• Know the snow routing for your bus route. Check
timetables for snow route maps for each route. Not
  every bus route has snow routing, but most do;
 
 

• When buses are on snow routing, some streets and bus stops may be missed and there are often
  delays due to travel conditions. There is new snow routing in many areas that is different from past
  years, so be sure to check the snow routes for the routes you use most often or are likely to use
  during snow;
 
  

• Metro uses an online color-coded map to keep riders advised of the status of its bus service.  All bus 
  routes are assigned into one or more of seven King County geographic areas. When there is snow or
  ice on the roads, the color-coded service status of each area is displayed map. Green indicates buses
  are operating on normal routes; yellow that some – but not all – routes in the area are on snow routes, and
  red tells you that all bus routes in the entire geographic area are on snow routing;
 
 

• People without online access can call the Customer Information Office at (206) 553-3000. General
  information about service is also sent via the kcmetrobus Twitter account;
 
 

• Be patient. Buses are not always on schedule in snowy or icy conditions. And, increased ridership
  during bad weather can result in crowded buses and a longer-than-usual wait on the phone for the
  Customer Information Office; 
 
 

• Dress warmly, wear appropriate footwear for the weather…and expect delays; 
 
 

• Use bus stops on flat portions of main arterials or at major transfer points such as park-and-ride lots,
  transit centers, or shopping centers.

Thanks for riding and for using Metro’s services.

Travel safely.

 


Weather Alerts Greater Puget Sound!

Weather Alerts Greater Puget Sound Region!

Special Weather Statement for Greater Puget Sound Region

Issued by The National Weather Service
Seattle/Tacoma, WA
3:30 pm PST, Sat., Dec. 25, 2010

WINTER WEATHER IS HEADING TO WESTERN WASHINGTON BETWEEN CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEARS DAY…

SEVERAL WINTER WEATHER EVENTS ARE COMING NEXT WEEK… INCLUDING THE POSSIBILITY OF LOWLAND SNOW BEGINNING ABOUT WEDNESDAY.

FIRST UP IS SNOW IN THE MOUNTAINS SUNDAY NIGHT AND MONDAY MORNING. THE SNOW LEVEL WILL FALL TO AS LOW AS 1000 FEET… SO ALL MOUNTAIN PASSES WILL SEE SNOW. THE AMOUNTS LOOK LIKE THEY WILL BE IN THE ADVISORY RANGE… PERHAPS 6 TO 10 INCHES OVERNIGHT.

THE SECOND WINTER WEATHER EVENT IS A MUCH HEAVIER MOUNTAIN SNOWFALL PREDICTED FOR MONDAY NIGHT AND TUESDAY. STRONG WESTERLY FLOW ALOFT AND A MOIST AIR MASS WILL CREATE A CLASSIC HEAVY SNOW PRODUCING PATTERN FOR THE MOUNTAINS. ONE TO THREE FEET OF NEW SNOW IS POSSIBLE MONDAY NIGHT AND TUESDAY.

FINALLY… AND POSSIBLY OF MOST INTEREST… THERE IS A CHANCE OF LOWLAND SNOW BEGINNING ABOUT WEDNESDAY AND LASTING INTO THURSDAY NIGHT. A DEEP UPPER TROUGH WILL SETTLE OVER WESTERN WASHINGTON. PRECIPITATION WILL BE SHOWERY AND WILL DIMINISH BY THURSDAY. HOWEVER IT IS LIKELY THAT AT LEAST SOME OF THE PRECIPITATION WILL BE IN THE FORM OF SNOW. WITH HIGH TEMPERATURES IN THE 30S AND LOWS IN THE 20S… SOME OF THE SNOW WILL STICK.

THIS SNOWFALL IS STILL FOUR DAYS AWAY AND THE FORECAST COULD CHANGE. THE PRECIPITATION CURRENTLY LOOKS MORE SHOWERY IN THE MODELS RATHER THAN A WIDESPREAD SYNOPTIC SNOW EVENT. SHOWERS WOULD IMPLY A MORE HIT OR MISS SNOW EVENT. STILL… LOWLAND SNOW IS USUALLY A BIG EVENT AROUND WESTERN WASHINGTON… SO STAY INFORMED.

More snow pours into Seattle area, snarling commute

 

140th Ave. in Renton on Monday evening.

140th Ave. in Renton on Monday evening.

Get instant updates via our real-time Social Media News Page Also follow on Twitter:@KOMONews for news updates and @ScottSKOMOfor weather updates.

SEATTLE — Another round of snow was moving into the Seattle area Monday evening, snarling the Monday evening commute.

Another 2-5 inches of snow are possible in the greater Puget Sound area through Monday evening, but snow totals will be highly variable.

Winter Storm Warnings remain in effect for a wide area of Western Washington, including the greater Seattle Metro area until 10 p.m. Monday as a storm moves into the region combined with arctic air already entrenched.

Travelers should expect low visibility and potentially slick roads. The snow is expected to fall in spurts through around 10 p.m. then taper off toward midnight as the storm moves away.

In addition, winds are expected to increase into the evening, gusting as high as 20-30 mph, making for low visibilities.

Some schools are already delaying classes for Tuesday. Get theSee full school delay list.)

The snow has caused several traffic problems around the Puget Sound area:

* I-5 and I-405 was snarled across much of the Seattle-Bellevue and Renton areas and it was particularly bad in the Tukwila area.
* The Seattle Department of Transportation has shut down the Alaskan Way Viaduct due to treacherous conditions.
*A semi jackknifed across I-5 South at S.188th in Tukwila around 3:30 p.m., briefly closing all lanes.
* A bus lost control and slid across the lanes of the Battery Street tunnel, closing the southbound lanes there
*SR-518 had to be closed near SR-99 to clear multiple spin-outs.
*The West Seattle Bridge was also a virtual parking lot as of 4:45 p.m. as slick roads made it difficult to get over the bridge.
* Side streets around Seattle were jammed as people tried to reach the freeways to get home.

Also, a Boeing 747 cargo plane slid off the end off the end of the runway at Sea-Tac Airport Monday evening, causing delays there.

Earlier in the day in Pierce County the eastbound lanes of SR-16 were closed just west of the Narrows Bridge due to numerous crashes, and a Pierce Transit bus rolled over on the UW Tacoma campus, injuring several passengers.

Multiple Weather Events In Play This Evening

A very complex weather situation is setting up as a very cold area of low pressure slides through Western Washington, with several major factors contributing to snow in the Seattle Metro area.

First up, a Convergence Zone is setting up shop right over the Seattle metro area. This is due to strong north winds from the Fraser Valley colliding with southerly winds being brought up by the passing storm. As the winds collide, it causes the air to rise and condense into clouds and, in this case, snow. Although this is not a classic Puget Sound Convergence Zone, which is when winds come west down the Strait of Juan de Fuca and turn south toward Everett as southerly winds collide. But the fact that winds are colliding is enough in this case, no matter where the northerly component is coming from. Convergence Zones can be great snow-makers and the Seattle area needs to be on guard as we could accumulate 1-4″ by the evening or more.

Second, the storm’s center is bringing its own moisture along for the ride, so expect enhanced snowfall for other areas outside of the Seattle Metro through the evening through about 5-6 p.m. These cells could bring 1-3″.

Third, cold winds continue to blast out of the Fraser River Valley, gusting as high as 50 mph and could strengthen to gusts of 60 mph this evening. At 4 p.m., Bellingham was 21 degrees with a 57 mph wind gust for a wind chill of -3. Friday Harbor reported blowing snow and gusts to 47 mph. A High Wind Warning remains in effect for western Whatcom County and the San Juan Islands through 4 a.m. Tuesday. A lesser Wind Advisory is in effect for Island County. western Skagit County and the Admiralty Inlet area for gusts to 50 mph.

This winds are running across the Salish Sea and into the eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca where they are running into the Olympic Mountains. This is the inverse rain shadow, per se, and this rising air is squeezing out all sorts of moisture along the northern Olympic Peninsula, where snow totals from Joyce to Port Townsend are reaching 6-12″ and more is falling.

Fourth, these strong winds will continue to filter south into the Puget Sound region later, meaning we’ll add gusty winds to the equation as high as 20-30 mph this evening, making for blowing snow a possibility.

Fifth — and this too is important — a very cold, unstable air mass is moving in behind this storm. If you thought it was chilly outside now, there is even colder air behind it. In addition, this storm briefly pulled up a little warm air from the south — thus the hail at Sea-Tac Airport earlier today and temperatures in Tacoma briefly warming into the mid 30s. But this “warm” air has added some fuel to the system and could cause stronger development of these individual cells.

Thus as we get later into the evening, the steady snows may taper off, but we’ll see these roaming snow showers and they could be quite intense, with thundersnow a possibility. This would be more in the 7-10 p.m. time frame. These cells will be random in nature and fairly compact, geographically, but where they strike, they could put down a few inches in a very short amount of time with whiteout conditions (plus the thundersnow). But a few miles away, it might be nothing. So all areas need to be prepared for intense snow showers through the late evening.

Temperatures will be below freezing through the event, with temperatures dropping as we head further toward midnight with lows gradually dropping to near 20.

When does the snow end?

Everything should taper off by 10 p.m. to midnight, with some individual snow showers/thundershowers possible through the night.

Watch the snow accumulate

Dr. Dale Ireland out in Silverdale had his camera rolling and, as tradition, used his original 2001 Ichiro bobblehead as a snow measuring device. Watch the snow accumulate today!

From Snow To Ice Box

As the night progresses and the storm continues to move south out of the region, even colder air will push into the Northwest. As we mentioned, lows Monday night will be in the upper teens to low 20s.

Tuesday will be dry but bitter cold, with breezy north winds continuing. Highs will not make it out of the 20s.

The National Weather Service noted that since 1985, we’ve only remained below freezing all day long in November just once in Seattle. Tuesday will mark the second day in a row.

A very bitterly cold night expected Tuesday night as lows drop to between 5 and 15 degrees, with some spots in Eastern Washington going well below zero.

We begin to warm up Wednesday a little, then closer to normal for Thanksgiving with a more old-fashioned rainy day. It might briefly start as snow, but won’t last long.

Seattle Colder Than Barrow, Alaska

Just how cold is it in Seattle? Afternoon temperatures were around 28 degrees. Meanwhile, up in the northern reaches of Alaska, Barrow reported a high of 34 degrees Monday. But that is all related. A very large ridge of high pressure has built into Alaska, shoving the jet stream way to the northern arctic reaches. The jet is then diving back down the east side of that ridge into the Pacific Northwest — in essence creating a conduit for air from the Arctic Circle to channel south into our area.

Get Updates on Twitter:

The weather staff is providing frequent updates on weather conditions and forecasts. You can follow them here:

KOMO News Main Twitter Feed: @KOMONews
Steve Pool — @StevePoolKOMO
Paul Deanno — @PaulDeannoKOMO
Scott Sistek — @ScottSKOMO

 

Snow totals so far:

Here are some snow reports that have come into the KOMO News room and National Weather Service as of 6:20 p.m. (Some may be more now)

 

  • Elwha: 11.0″
  • West Port Angeles: 10.0″
  • Enumclaw: 9.0″
  • North Bend: 9.0″
  • Port Angeles: 8.5″
  • Mount Pleasant: 7.6″
  • Coville (Clallam Co) 7.0″
  • Sequim: 7.0″
  • Enumclaw: 6.2″
  • Port Townsend: 6.0″
  • Tacoma: 4.5″
  • Kingston: 4.0″
  • Potlatch: 4.0″
  • Federal Way: 3.9″
  • Covington: 3.5″
  • Hoodsport: 3″
  • Coupeville: 2.1″
  • Port Orchard: 2.0″
  • Vashon: 2.0″
  • Edmonds: 2.0″
  • Marysville: 2.0″
  • Renton (East Hill): 2.0″
  • Freeland: 2.0″
  • Oak Harbor: 2.0″
  • Puyallup: 1.9″

 

 

 

 

 

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