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Heavy rains from atmospheric river event remain in the forecast

WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — National Weather Service forecasters in the Seattle office continue to expect the arrival of an unseasonably very wet weather system later this week but have dialed-back the expected amount of rainfall for the northern Cascade Mountain range.

An unseasonable and very wet frontal system in the form of an atmospheric river will move through the area Thursday and Friday. 1-3″ of rain is expected in the mountains during this time. No rivers are currently forecast to reach flood stage but a few flowing off the north and central Cascades could get close Friday or Saturday.

After a relative lull in precipitation Friday, a second frontal wave is expected to arrive Saturday bringing another bout of unusually heavy precipitation to the area. Rainfall amounts with this system continue to look lighter than Thursday’s rainfall, but still significant. The cumulative affect remains helping to keep rivers running high through Saturday and into Sunday.

National Weather Service Seattle office (June 7, 2022)
Plot of vertically integrated water vapor analysis forecast for June 9, 2022, based on ECMWF forecast model. Source: Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes
Plot of vertically integrated water vapor analysis forecast for June 9, 2022, based on ECMWF forecast model. Source: Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes
Plot of vertically integrated water vapor transport analysis forecast for June 9, 2022, based on ECMWF forecast model. Source: Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes
Plot of vertically integrated water vapor transport analysis forecast for June 9, 2022, based on ECMWF forecast model. Source: Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes

The snow level is expected to be “well above 11,000 feet” on Thursday, resulting in mountain precipitation falling as rain, not snow.

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The Nooksack River level forecasts have fluctuated over the past 24 hours, at 1 point forewarning of a crest on Saturday in Ferndale at 17-feet, a foot short of reaching minor flood stage.

River level forecasts as of 3pm, Tuesday, June 7th, show the river cresting at unseasonably high levels while remaining well below action stage levels.

Officials with the Whatcom County Department of Emergency Management have advised people to postpone recreational activities on and around the river until levels return to normal for this time of year.

River level forecasts can change frequently so drivers and property owners are advised to monitor the Nooksack River level forecast.

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