Queen Anne Avenue is still open, for now, public schools close early & other snow updates

Queen Anne Ave is still open to vehicle traffic, at least for now. The day’s snow has not yet stuck to the steep thoroughfare, and cars seems to be traveling up and down the hill just fine. However, just after returning home from a walk around town taking pictures of the snow, I glanced out my window to catch a large semi-truck sliding backwards, down Queen Anne Avenue, back to the bottom of the Counterbalance.

The driver didn’t make another attempt to climb the hill, indicating that conditions are already too slick for larger vehicles to safely traverse.

The weather report originally estimated that Seattle could see anywhere from 1 to 3 inches of snow today, but as the snowfall presses on, UW atmospheric scientist Cliff Mass says even more snow—in large amounts—is a possibility this afternoon. From Cliff’s blog:

If the low goes south of us and draws some of that cold, unstable air in…and it meets the cold stream from the north, we are talking about serious snow (6-12 inches). Or if the low moves farther north we could get a Puget Sound convergence zone over the central Sound and a huge amount of snow in a narrow band (a la Dec 18, 1990). The system is moving slower than the models predicted and the real threat is the middle and latter parts of this afternoon.

While many of the roads in Queen Anne are still clear, ice is stacking up. There have already been a handful of crashes on the Aurora Bridge today, and conditions are increasingly worse as the day goes on.

Seattle Public Schools also decided that the forecast for snow, the majority of which is expected to fall this afternoon, was enough to release all schools in the district at 12:35 p.m today (originally only the middle and high schools were given a half day).

Seattle Parks and Recreation has also closed down a number of facilities due to the snow. Here are the closures affecting Queen Anne:

  • All community center programs scheduled after 6 p.m. are canceled.
  • All pool programs scheduled after 6 p.m. are canceled.
  • Pools and community centers will be open for drop-in use until their regularly scheduled closing times: http://www.seattle.gov/parks/centers.asp and http://www.seattle.gov/parks/pools.asp.
  • All athletic fields are closed.
  • All evening recreation programs are canceled.
  • Parks and Recreation’s middle-school learning centers are closed.
  • Late night programs will not take place tonight.
  • Golf courses are closed but not open for sledding because there is not enough snow.

School age care camps at the Queen Anne Community Center are still in session.