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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

4-5 Inches Here at Paramount Park

Looks like about 4 to 5" out there
Sun peaking through the trees at 8am
photo credit-Janet Way
Icicles this morning on the window facing east
photo credit-Janet Way

So it seems like a lot of snow, considering it is before Thanksgiving. And of course it's pretty cold out, so a good idea to keep pets inside if possible.

But, checking the historical record, this is pretty small potatoes.
Shoreline Historical Museum 
has some fascinating snow pictures archived.

Title:Bessie B restaurant 
in the snowRichmond Highlands
Caption:Bessie B.'s was a popular cafe 
at Aurora Avenue North and 
North 184th Street. The 
building became occupied by 
the Monarch Appliance store.
[Source of caption

Shoreline Historical Museum Staff].

Title:Echo Lake panorama showing 
Emme house in the foreground, ca. 1927
Photographer:Pierson Photo Company
Date:ca. 1927
Caption:South side of Echo LakeEmme house 
is pictured in front center
Interurban tracks are pictured 
to the far right.
[Source of captionhandwriting on verso.]

(editorial comment - from the looks 

of this photo it doesn't look like a huge 
snow storm, maybe comparable to todays -JW)

History Link has cool pictures of historic blizzards. 
Paul Dorpat provides fascinating photos and descriptions.

Downtown Seattle, looking east on Cherry Street during the Big Snow, January 1880
Courtesy Paul Dorpat

Snow storm on Green Lake, February 1916
Courtesy Paul Dorpat

Ballard, 1916

Here's the story on 1916

The Big Snow of 1916
When the big snow of 1916 began to fall on a cold Monday on January 31, 1916, there may have been more cameras than shovels in the hands of amateurs. The flurry of snapshots of our second greatest snowstorm illustrate snow-stopped streetcars, closed schools, closed libraries, closed theaters, closed bridges, a clogged waterfront, collapsed roofs, and -- most sensationally --  the great dome of St. James Cathedral, which landed in a heap in the nave and choir of the sanctuary. (There were no injuries to persons.)
The unusually cold January already had 23 inches of snow on the ground when, on the last day of the month, it began to fall relentlessly. Between 5 p.m. on Tuesday, February 1 and 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 2, 21.5 inches accumulated in the Central Business District at the Weather Bureau in the Hoge Building. This remains (in 2002) a record -- our largest 24-hour pile.
The 1916 snow was a wet snow, and it came to a foul end -- a mayhem of mud that mutilated bridges and carried away homes.

Depression Skaters and Wartime Kidders
Although not regular, a Green Lake freeze is considerably more common than one on Lake Union. In both February 1929 and January 1930, the lesser (Green) lake froze over, to the joy of skaters who scrounged for clamp-on skates. Many skated past midnight. For warmth they visited the bonfires set in trashcans on the ice.
On Friday, January 15, 1943, snow began falling in Seattle, accumulating to a foot in depth, but what was obvious to residents could not be reported in the media. Wartime restrictions on information prohibited weather reports. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer had some fun with the regulations: "The thermometer changed its position more than somewhat Friday night and a lot of restricted military information fell in the streets of Seattle and vicinity early yesterday morning..." Stores and schools closed and so did many of the city's wartime industries.

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