Why Seattle was so stinky Tuesday night

Jan 7, 2015, 12:16 PM | Updated: 11:05 pm
Heavy fog and inverted air is being blamed for a putrid smell that covered much of Seattle Tuesday ...
Heavy fog and inverted air is being blamed for a putrid smell that covered much of Seattle Tuesday night. (Creative Commons/Torrin Maynard - File)
(Creative Commons/Torrin Maynard - File)

They say he who smelt it dealt it, but it turns out we’re all a little bit to blame for the putrid stink that spread across the Seattle-area Tuesday night.

The Internet went crazy with people complaining about a stench that pervaded the city as a thick fog rolled in off Elliott Bay.

So what was the source of the stink? UW meteorologist Cliff Mass says the fog essentially acted as a giant lid over the city, trapping all of our pollution and other odiferous elements, creating a toxic stew of sorts.

“We had a very strong inversion over the city, which trapped a thin layer of cold, foggy air,” he said in an interview Wednesday. “Between the inversion and weak winds, there was very little mixing so pollutants and smells got trapped. I can’t tell you the cause of the odor, but I suspect people were smelling rotting garbage, the sewer and other things that normally get blown away by the wind.”

Mass says he checked with the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, which reported our air quality was good and there was no obvious source of the smell. So at least we’ve got that going for us.

Local News

Former President Donald Trump listens as he speaks with reporters while in flight on his plane afte...
Associated Press

Donald Trump indicted; 1st ex-president charged with crime

A lawyer for Donald Trump said Thursday he's been told that the former president has been indicted in New York.
18 hours ago
ferry crash...
Chris Sullivan

WA Ferries blames ship captain for Cathlament ferry crash

The captain is to blame, according to the Washington State Ferries in its internal report on the crash of the Cathlament ferry last summer.
18 hours ago
parking rates...
Micki Gamez

Seattle on-street parking rates continue to increase

"The Seattle local laws require, that a few times a year, we adjust the parking rates based on real-time data," Bergerson said.
18 hours ago
Intercity Transit bus in Olympia (Photo from Flickr @Intercity Transit Advantage)...
L.B. Gilbert

Man chokes teenage girl, tries to kiss her at Lacey bus stop

A teenage girl reported to Lacey police that while she was waiting for a bus, a man assaulted her. The man was recently released from prison.
18 hours ago
missing child...
L.B. Gilbert

Seattle police look for missing 8-year-old child last seen in Ravenna

Seattle police have an alert out in hopes of finding an 8-year-old who has been missing since about 11 p.m. Wednesday.
18 hours ago
Pittsburgh Police and paramedics respond to Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School for what turned...
Associated Press

Washington man charged in 20-plus ‘swatting’ calls around US

SEATTLE (AP) — U.S. authorities on Thursday said they arrested a Washington state man who made more than 20 “swatting” calls around the country and in Canada, prompting real emergency responses to his fake reports of bombs, shootings or other threats. Ashton Connor Garcia, 20, of Bremerton, used voice-over-internet technology to conceal his identity as […]
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.
Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.
SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!
safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Why Seattle was so stinky Tuesday night