Dec 17, 2008

Remember the 1990 snowstorm?

In his blog today, Cliff Mass (U Dub atmospheric scientist) notes:


There is a long history of convergence zone snows in the area...one of the most memorable being the event of Dec 18 1990 when Seattle had a foot and virtually nothing fell at Everett and Sea-Tac airport (my book has a section on this storm). That cz snow was completely unforecast...we di
dn't have the high resolution models we use today.
Our family and neighborhood remember it well. We and our children got off to our respective day jobs (U Dub, Fred Hutch, Leschi and Kimball elementary schools) fine, then it started snowing and snowing.....

I walked from First Hill to Leschi School and my 8 year old son and I walked home through a strangely quiet and deserted Central Area, our feet warm and toasty inside the plastic bags lining our shoes. Our kindergardener daughter was stuck at Kimball all day, and had to eat Fruit Loops, a great topic of subsequent conversation. Her school bus dropped her off on 19th at 10 PM. Fortunately she found her way home (we'd been alerted by phone to await her a block away!).

This excerpt, from page 7 of the Feb 91 Miller Times, relates the events at Meany School and Miller Community Center that day, and the role of the neighbors:
(click on image to enlarge and read)

3 comments:

Joannie said...

In 1990, I was living in the north end and working in Ballard. I left work when the snow began to stick (not a good tactic) and made it to about a mile from my mother's house, got stuck on a hill, got help from helpful people to get my car safely parked without hitting any other vehicles, then walked the rest of the way to pick up my four-month-old.

We stayed at my mom's until the power went out, and then we bundled up the baby and walked 10 blocks to my house. My husband was driving home from the Eastside and arrived at two in the morning.

All in all much more exciting than this morning's weather--but the baby is now 18 and planning to bus home from college today. We'll see how that goes.

Anonymous said...

I remember the 1990 snow well. I had lived here for 6 months and and was really surprised at how ill-prepared Seattle was. I wound up walking 5 miles home in worn-out sneakers after deciding that the buses weren't working. This is how Metro learned to put chains on buses before they leave the garage.

It was amazing how localized it was. Seattle was paralyzed. That weekend I visited relatives and as I headed south the amount of snow decreased perceptibly until by Kent there was hardly any. My relatives in Tacoma wondered what all the fuss was about. This was a powerful introduction to the Convergence Zone.

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