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Forecast: Expect more snow and ice before the rains arrive

An ice covered vehicle by Malloy Avenue and Thornton Street in Ferndale (February 5, 2017). Photo courtesy of R Vernola

Previous forecasts hoped that by later today, Wednesday, temperatures would rise along with the probability of precipitation. But current forecasts warn temperatures are not expected to rise as soon but the precipitation is still expected.

This means northern Whatcom County, including Ferndale, can expect more snow and freezing rain until temperatures rise sufficiently to transition to rain. As a result, the National Weather Service Seattle office has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for western Whatcom County, specifically for areas north of Bellingham. The advisory is in effect from 10am this morning until 4am tomorrow morning.

Environment Canada and Weather Underground BestForecast forecasts both agree with the NWS regarding timing of the arrival of precipitation. But cold air being pumped into northern Whatcom County via the Fraser Valley outflow will mean it will begin as snow, at some time changing to a mix of snow and freezing rain before finally becoming rain.

This new weather system will move northward through Puget Sound bringing rain to areas to the south before arriving in Whatcom County. High probability of precipitation begins around 1pm according to forecasters. Temperatures are not expected to rise above freezing until early afternoon and but just barely as today’s high is expected in the mid 30s.

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As a result of all of the above, forecasters warn an additional 1 to 2 inches of snow is possible today and into tonight while ice accumulation of up to a half-inch is expected as the rain and snow mix transitions to freezing rain by late this afternoon or later. The transition to all rain is expected to happen late tonight or early Thursday morning.

Whatcom Emergency Management continues to advise that people continue to stay off the roads if possible, particularly with this new round of snow and freezing rain.

Winds are expected to remain blustery. Winds combined with icy conditions increase the probability for downed trees and branches. As a result, drivers need to be alert for downed trees and branches in the roads and neighbors need to be prepared for the possibility of localized power outages.

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