News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


Now wind – and power outages

February 10th, 2017 by Mike

Noon update: High wind gust so far here 31 mph. About 100 customers are without power in Maple Leaf, out of 138 citywide, according to Seattle City Light.

The headline on Cliff Mass’ post today is:  “Hold on to your hats! Western Washington winds are about to blow!

Which about tells it.

Winds in Maple Leaf are currently (mostly) in the single digits, but gusts are already sending trash cans blowing across the street.

The forecast: The high winds arrive within the hour (around 10 a.m.), and should blow steadily between 2o-30 mph. Gusts, however, are forecast to hit 44 mph here.

Mass: “So batten down the hatches and get ready…the wind is about to blow.  City Light and the other utilities should get read…some folks are about to lose their power.”



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“Make sure you have batteries!” Sunday storm

March 12th, 2016 by Mike

Update Sunday March 13:

5  p.m.: Map is back. 51,000.

4:30 p.m. The Seattle City Light outage map appears to be down.

2 p.m. Lights flickering. Up by Northgate, 4,400 without power. Citywide, 28,000 41,000 46,000 48,000 out.

Winds at Maple Leaf Life South to 34 40 51 mph.

Cliff Mass: Windstorm Update: Could This Be a Big Fizzle over Puget Sound?

Today’s weather: Roily.

“Showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 1 p.m. Steady temperature around 48. South wind 14 to 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.”

Sunday’s weather: “Make sure you have batteries!” (Cliff Mass – Sunday Windstorm.)

The National Weather Service – Seattle has issued a high wind watch beginning Sunday afternoon.



Timing: Sunday afternoon through late Sunday night.

Winds hit 39 mph here during Thursday’s storm. Thousands lost power.

Cliff Mass: “Bottom line: The south/central coast will get hit hard, with gusts reaching 50-70 mph. For Puget Sound, it will probably be similar to the storm of this week, but it could be worse.”

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Rainy days and Wednesdays – get ready

January 27th, 2016 by Mike

Update 7 a.m. Thursday: Rain in the past 24 hours at Maple Leaf Life South- 1.33 inches. Top wind speed so far: 24 mph at 5:15 a.m.

KOMO has an update here.


“Major Atmospheric River Period for the West Coast” begins this evening, according to Cliff Mass.

From KOMO:

“Clouds will thicken up, too, and a vigorous cold front will arrive later as well. This front is going to kick up our winds – so much so that a HIGH SURF ADVISORY will be in effect along the coast and heavy rain will fall across the interior. Rainfall amounts could easily exceed .5-1″ and some of the downpours will take place during the evening commute.”

The official forecast is here. The Seattle Times has a story here.

Also, because we know everyone who follows Maple Leaf Life cares as much about the weather as we do and would really, really like to know how much it’s rained so far this year: 6.68 inches at Maple Leaf Life South, as of this morning.

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Maple Leaf, Scout trees, survive 9+ inches rain

December 23rd, 2015 by Mike

In an email Tuesday the Scouts behind the Maple Leaf tree lot (a 70-year tradition) wrote:

Boy Scout Troop 151 has finished a successful Christmas Tree sale. We earned enough to finance our program for the upcoming year.

We would like to thank all our returning customers who tracked us down, and for their ongoing support. We want to thank all our new  customers, many who told us they found about our tree lot from Maple Leaf Life.

In a separate post on their Facebook page the Scouts thanked members for “their time and commitment to the many hours everyone spent in the rain at the tree lot.”

How much rain, you ask.

Here at Maple Leaf Life South we know the answer: During the time the tree lot was open – Nov. 28th to Dec. 22nd – it rained 9.13 inches in the neighborhood.

During that time the single wettest day was Dec. 9th, at 1.36 inches.

Cliff Mass is predicting possibly the wettest December in Pacific Northwest history.

The Scouts go on to say:

We would like to thank the following Maple Leaf businesses  for their support this year:

Maple Leaf Life – for help us promote our Tree Lot and program.

Glo Cleaners – Owner Steve has been a longtime supporter.

Maple Leaf Property Management – Owner Kit MacPherson provided signs and has been a longtime customer.

Father Mark, St. Catherine’s Church and School – They have been a great partner for our Troop for many years and  when we need a space for the tree lot, they were there with open arms.

Troop 151 is a parent-sponsored Boy Scout Troop. “We offer and outstanding leadership and outdoor education program for Scouts 10-17.

We meet Mondays at St. Catherine’s at 7 p.m.. All interested families can attend.

Thanks to all our customers and supporters.

This year’s Maple Leaf Park Solstice tree came from the Scout lot, we’re told.

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And now, a “drunken storm” after 4.5 inchs of rain

December 10th, 2015 by Mike

Noon update: Another third of an inch of rain since morning. Highest wind gust: 34 mph at 11:07 a.m.

Garbage cans and tree limbs litter the streets.


Nearly 4 1/2 inches of rain has fallen on Maple Leaf Life South so far this week – 4.44 inches, to be exact, as of 7 a.m.

And we’re enjoying serious rain now.

Cliff Mass has decided to dub the system now hanging off our coast a “drunken storm.”

Drunken Storm: a storm that circles around and has minimal forward motion, in contrast to normal storms that move rapidly to the east or northeast.

(Today), an usually powerful storm for our region will careen around in our offshore water for an extended period before making landfall. A very strong storm and unusual behavior.

It will be followed by a sober storm, with wind, this weekend.

The National Weather Service’s current discussion of all this distinguishes itself with the phrase: “A BENT BACK OCCLUSION OR STINGER JET.”

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“Darkest day,” inches of rain, plus windstorm

December 8th, 2015 by Mike

Update Dec. 9th: 1.31 inches of rain overnight here.

Over the last two days it’s rained 1.71 inches here at Maple Leaf Life South.

Much more is coming – with the possibility of another three inches by morning, according to the National Weather Service in Seattle….”These will likely pale in comparison to what we receive in the next 24 to 36 hours. Heavy rain will lead to flooding concerns on area rivers. In addition, windy conditions are expected at times through Wednesday.”

Cliff Mass has pointed out that Monday “was the darkest December day in Seattle in nearly 9 years”.

And then there’s the coming wind.


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Heat returns; water rationing, too

August 11th, 2015 by Mike

The National Weather Service in Seattle posted this stunning dawn photo about three hours ago.

With this unwelcome message:

“Dawn at NWS Seattle on what is expected to be the 40th day of 80 degrees or higher in Seattle this year.

“There have only been 7 years in the past 121 with 40 or more days this warm in Seattle. We’re still well ahead of last year’s pace in which we had 45. The all-time record is 47 set back in the summer of 1958.

About three hours later the city of Seattle announced a further stage in water restrictions: voluntary reductions.

Together with Tacoma and Everett, “the three cities are working together to manage water supplies for people and fish during the drought and higher-than-normal water use. They are asking customers for their help by voluntarily reducing their water use by 10 percent starting today.”

According to a press release from the Seattle Public Utilities: “Seattle customers know it is important to manage their water use during these dry conditions,’ said Seatte Mayor Ed Murray. ‘Today we are asking residents and businesses to continue to reduce water use both indoors and outdoors.'”

Today’s forecast tops out at 88 degrees in Maple Leaf this afternoon, but Cliff Mass has a post suggesting it will be hotter.

This summer, I have gotten a number of complaints about the poor quality of our local forecasts.

Several of you have suggested that the weather is often much better (generally warmer) than predicted by the National Weather Service and several media outlets.

I have to admit, I had noticed the same thing. My calibration as a long-term forecaster seemed to be off.

His post giving reasons for this is here, and notes: “During June through early August the Weather Service was too low almost every day (by roughly 3-4F).”

There’s more on saving water here.

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Wet, wet, wet – plus more mail thefts

February 5th, 2015 by Mike

Cliff Mass’ headline probably says it best: “Triple Atmospheric River Event to Hit the West Coast.”

That was posted Wednesday, as was this from the Seattle office of the National Weather Service: “A series of waves will bring periods of heavy rain to the area tonight through Monday.

“The 5 day rainfall total for the mountains could be 10 to 13 inches in some areas, with 1 to 4 inches for the lowlands…. Winds will be southerly and gusty for nearly all areas tonight through Friday, with the strongest winds on the Coast and North Interior.

“Winds could be gusty again Saturday. Stay tuned to the latest forecasts for this wet and windy weekend!”

The Seattle Times points out the rain is snarling morning commutes.

Mass says:

Probably the most significant West Coast heavy rain event of the winter will occur during the next few days, with Northern California being the hardest hit.  Three “atmospheric rivers” will strike the coast between now and Sunday, with the middle one possibly being the strongest in years.

Overnight Wednesday into today 0.72 inches of rain fell at Maple Leaf Life South.

In more terrestrial pursuits – mail theft, John emails:

Found a big pile of stolen mail at Olympic View Elementary School playground. Included some folks’ tax stuff. I’d found more in early January along Eighth Avenue Northeast in the vicinity of the school and dumped near my house on Northeast 97th Street.

One neighbor’s stolen mail included a credit card statement, and someone subsequently tried to use that card fraudulently.

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Update: 50 mph winds and power outages tonight

December 11th, 2014 by Mike


All over.

9:20 p.m.: Part of ViewRidge is out.

9:15 p.m.: 3,000 out in Laurelhurst.

8:50: Outage in Maple Leaf. Three customers at about Fifth Avenue Northeast and Northeast 90th St.

8:40 p.m.3,000 out in Lake Forest Park.

At 8:20 p.m. winds gusted to 38 mph here at Maple Leaf Life South. Lights are flickering, radio’s in and out.

1:46 p.m.: This update from Cliff Mass:

Nearly everyone will experience gusts to 40-50 mph tonight and some more (coast, near the Sound, NW Washington).

I would not plan any ferry trips tonight and if you need to cross the Sound do it before dinner. I suspect a few hundred thousand folks will lose power in our region, so be ready.

The Seattle office of the National Weather Service says:


How high? Up to 60 mph here, the weather service says.

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Wet, followed by WIND (65 mph?)

December 10th, 2014 by Mike

Wednesday night, 12th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 92nd Street.

The ponds on the east side of Maple Leaf Reservoir Park this morning. Wind shakes the camera.

Update 6 p.m. Power out in several nearby communities – including Richmond Beach, Shoreline. All remaining ferry sailings canceled tonight. Sustained winds to 50 mph now expected Thursday.

It’s wet outside, and windy.

It’s supposed to get wetter today, and a LOT windier Thursday.

(We’ve closed the deck umbrella, which we really should have taken down while it was dry. Might move the outside chairs inside, too.)

Here’s the rundown:

* It’s ridiculously warm. Cliff Mass this morning posted:

At 10 AM, Seattle-Tacoma Airport reported 65F, the WARMEST TEMPERATURE EVER OBSERVED AT SEA-TAC FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER. I repeat this is the warmest temperature every reported for any day in December in the entire climatological record. Amazing.

(It got 1 degree warmer after that,)

* It’s going to remain wet. The forecast this afternoon is for perhaps a quarter-inch of rain, followed by more Thursday. That’s on top of .84 inches on Tuesday here at Maple Leaf Life South, and another two-thirds of an inch overnight into this morning.

* The big news is the wind. Our news partner The Seattle Times is reporting there have already been tens of thousands of people without power as early winds up to 71 mph hit the Washington coast.

* Thursday morning’s storm – the third to hit here this week – could bring wind guests of 40 mph or even 55-65 mph depending on forecast, to the central Puget Sound (i.e., us).

Mass, the University of Washington professor, thinks Ground Zero will be the Oregon coast, with hurricane-force wind gusts.

The National Weather Service, Seattle, has issued both wind and rain bulletins.


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