WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — Whatcom County residents have been hunkering down amidst bitterly cold temperatures made worse by gusty winds. Comparing this weather to what was being experienced last year at this time may make some feel a little fortunate.
Shortly after midnight on February 24, 2022, snow began to fall across Whatcom County as a weather system dropped precipitation while temperatures were in the mid-20s. By 6am, accumulations of 0.5 to 2 inches were reported in lowland areas. A wind advisory for the next day warned of sustained southeast winds of 25 to 35mph with gusts up to 50mph.
Temperatures began warming into the 40s shortly after that snow event but not soon enough for many Whatcom County schools, organizations and businesses that announced closures and opening delays due to the slick roads.
Forecasters expect current cold and windy conditions to continue to the weekend.
The unseasonably cold airmass just doesn`t plan to go anywhere anytime soon through the rest of the work week. In fact, we could see record cold high temperatures today around the [western Washington] area with highs in the low to mid 30s. For Sea-Tac, 34 F is the forecast high, which would break the previous record of 36 F, set last year in 2022. With the sub-Arctic high to our east and the low to our southwest, cold air will continue to spill through the passes in the form of chilly Cascadia Gap winds today. It will remain breezy in the lowlands with winds gusting up to around 30 mph at times. Stronger winds will continue over western Whatcom County as Fraser [Valley] outflow winds continue with gusts up to 50 mph. National Weather Service Seattle office (February 23, 2023)
A wind advisory remains in effect through 4am Friday morning due to expected northeast sustained winds of 30 to 40mph with gusts up to 55mph.
The next possibility for precipitation starts Saturday. Forecasters note, “With cold air still in place, the moisture that does move into the area will likely fall as a rain/snow mix to perhaps all snow at times Sunday into Monday.” Computer weather forecast models are currently estimating 1 to 2 inches of snow could fall in Whatcom County lowland areas as a result. The same weather system looks like it could bring another foot to foot and a half of snow in the higher elevations.
The good news is that what snow that does fall should melt through Monday afternoon as highs climb into the low 40s. National Weather Service Seattle office (February 23, 2023)