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Forecasters see potential for snow accumulations in Whatcom County beginning this weekend

WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — Forecasters are beginning to have confidence in the potential for snow accumulations across areas of Whatcom County beginning this weekend.

Total accumulated snow forecasts for the Bellingham area via NOAA / National Weather Service / Storm Prediction Center Plume Viewer as of December 15, 2022.

According to forecasters in the Seattle office of the National Weather Service, colder temperatures this weekend combined with increasing clouds provides the potential for lowland snow and wintry precipitation for the lowlands beginning Saturday and continuing into next week.

A weather system is expected to arrive Friday night, December 17th, increasing the chance of rain and or snow on Saturday.

Things turn more interesting into the weekend as an Arctic airmass begins to dive southward across western Canada. A strong cold front will form as a strong surface high digs southward along the leeward side of the Canadian Rockies. Cloud cover will trend upward as the associated shortwave trough digs southward toward the region. Highs Saturday will continue to trend cooler in the upper 30s to lower 40s.

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As noted in the previous discussion, there is still some uncertainty in how far south the developing modified Arctic cold front dives. The general consensus still brings the front into western Washington Sunday and Sunday night. The bitterly cold Arctic air will stay north and east of our region on the lee side of the Rockies but both nearly all of the global ensemble guidance brings a period of well below normal temperatures into the region by the middle of next week. National Weather Service Seattle office (December 15, 2022)

2 more other weathers systems are expected to follow according to forecasters. The first is expected to arrive Tuesday and will be the weaker of the two. The second system is expected Wednesday night and will linger through Thursday night. A stronger warm front is expected ahead of this system. There is also growing concern for mixed precipitation if that occurs, and colder air remains around the inland lowland areas. Computer weather forecast models indicate potential for sleet and freezing rain in some areas Wednesday night.

Whatcom News readers are encouraged to stay up to date with the current weather forecast for their specific locations via the Whatcom News Weather page.

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