By now, much of the world seems to have heard about the heavy snow that fell in Seattle and subsequent mess during the second week of February 2019. It made headlines in the news on an international level and for someone that grew up in the region, I can say first hand that I have seen this much snow in the city only a few times. So it is rare that it happens, if at all.
It never even crossed my mind that snow could be a possibility when I packed for my visit last month. I didn’t really bring any kind of clothing for such weather and upon landing in January to temperatures in the 10-13c range (50-55f), it felt like spring weather compared to the chilly Warsaw weather I left behind along with the attire to be comfortable in the cold.
When they forecasted snow the week before I was to leave, I thought that it was a little bit odd, but also thought it might be a little overblown and exaggerated. I was wrong assuming this and when the initial snow fell that pushed to 21cm (8 inches) I was pleasantly shocked but not dismayed. Temperatures then dropped to a brisk -6c (21f) and colder, the snow becoming powder and ice-crusted and as my nephew, Max stated: “you can’t make snowballs with it”. It didn’t stop he and his brother from trying time and time again though.
No matter what with the weather, Seattle is a city that is never ready for snow because of the infrequency of it and is made even more difficult and dangerous by the number of hills and slopes in the city and surrounding areas. Not to mention the people who are not used to driving in such weather. The roads were a mess, travel was limited if not impossible to navigate, city transit on emergency schedules, schools and businesses closed early and an unusual quiet settled in.
For the “snow” part of my trip, I stayed with my brother and his family in Beacon Hill, a small suburb of Seattle and walking distance into the actual city itself. Using some of my brother’s shoes and wearing almost everything I brought, I enjoyed the snowy landscape by taking long walks and of course, shooting anything moving or that caught my eye. Getting to spend time with my nephews as they endlessly played and sled in the snow was certainly the highlight.
Victrola Coffee on Beacon Hill offered me a nice place to enjoy some sanctuary from the cold as well as a delicious cup of coffee to sip on while peering out the window. On my last week, this became a haven for morning escapism and enjoyment of the snowy landscape.
Eventually, the days came close to the point of my leaving and the question then became will I actually be able to get home? More snow was forecast and the day before I left another 15cm dropped adding to the already snowy landscape again making the streets a mess to traverse. Fortunately, the weather was on my side and the temperature warmed up enough to make the main streets wet and clear but the sidewalks and side streets were a messy slop of deep slush that made the walking a chore.
The Seattle Light Rail proved to be a valuable asset as I made my way to the airport to catch my flight back to Warsaw. Fearing the worst, I left earlier than I normally might unsure of what to expect for travel. All proved to be just fine and I made my flight without any issues. The airport was full of people trying to get home from the canceled flights over the weekend and I
acknowledged my luck with not having to have had a similar issue.
There is no denying how beautiful the snowfall made the Emerald City and Pacific Northwest look. As much of a problem it creates, it was such a pleasure to be visiting during it. Here are a few images to enjoy that I took with my Nikon D80, but I also shot film with my NIKON FM2 which I will be developing soon. All 8 rolls of them after which I will write another post to include them.
Thank you and enjoy!