SEATTLE -- Have you heard about some big road closing down in Seattle on Friday? You have? Good. That will save some time.
But as you plan how large of a coffee mug will fit in your cup holders and just how much music you can jam on a 32GB phone for your anticipated extended commutes, you might be wondering: Is Mother Nature going to throw any extra monkey wrenches into Carmageddon?
I'm sure WSDOT officials feared a worst-case scenario when planning this closure in the middle of what is historically the snowiest month in Seattle. Could you imagine a snowstorm (like this) suddenly coming in amidst the extra gridlock during either morning or afternoon commute? I bet Metro's managers wake up in nervous sweats after those kind of nightmare scenarios.
But I bring good news for commuters, if not for winter weather lovers: There is no sign of lowland snow in the foreseeable future --or at least through the next two weeks. It's been a relatively mild winter so far and all signs point to staying that way through the end of the month, and by then we're getting (hopefully) close to the tunnel's opening. At least we picked an El Nino winter!
And even better news: Weather is not expected to be a factor during the first couple #SeattleSqueeze commutes on Monday and Tuesday. It'll actually be dry as you get your feet wet in Seattle's new traffic world! Whew!
But the closure is 3 weeks long, and it's the rainy season. Sure enough, the longer-range models suggest another rather extended soggy pattern is coming toward the end of next week and into the following week.
Here is NOAA's 6-10 day forecast, which covers Jan. 15-19:
Very high confidence of a wetter but milder pattern.
That holds into their 8-14 day forecast, which covers Jan. 17-23:
That's an awfully deep green bullseye over the Pacific Northwe(s)t. And anyone who has driven here before knows even a pesky drizzle can grind a commute to a halt. Put in a steady rain amid the Squeeze and...well, maybe you should see if you can fit TWO large coffee mugs in the car and upgrade to the 64 gig storage on your phone.
But at least even in stop-and-go traffic, you should still be able to stop, and go at will!