Slideshow: A bus journey through Hailmageddon 2013

The Ballard News-Tribune had just finished covering Grynch and Budo's free concert at Hilliard's Beer (we'll have photos and story up tomorrow) and was just headed home when the clouds seemed unusually dark.

While waiting for the 44 Bus with a few other folks, a lightning flash could be seen up to the north around the North Beach area. One or two seconds passed and we heard thunder.

A young twenty something with gauged ears and his hair pulled back into a ponytail exclaimed, "I've never experienced thunder and lightning in Washington state."

A middle-aged woman with thick-framed glasses concurred. "I'm from Tennessee, we used to see it all the time. But not here."

"Thunder in Ballard ... it's rare," said an older gentleman.

As the bus pulled up, that's when the hail struck.


Driving down Market St and through East Ballard, the hail came down harder. The bus trudged up Phinney Ridge. The streets were a blanket of white -- the closest we've seen Seattle to being white so far this year -- cars were slowed and people took cover under whatever thing they happened to have in their hands. (We saw a poor sign waver hide under his sign, refusing to abandon his post on the corner.)


Somewhere around the Aurora Bridge, the hail turned into a light snow, and then into a pattering rain. As we went over I-5, cars were backed up for miles going southbound, and over Seattle could be seen thick clouds with a dense stream of hail pounding on the skyscrapers.


But up north? In classic weird Washington fashion, the weather had suddenly taken for the better. The sun was poking through holes in the clouds and the freshly wet streets reflected the blue skies.


Unfortunately, as we were crossing the University Bridge (Yes, this is getting far from Ballard) we stumbled upon a car accident -- a reminder to drive safely, especially during inclement weather.


Where were you when Hailmageddon struck? Tell us your story about today's storm or previous Ballard storms in the comments below.

Zachariah Bryan can be reached at

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