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Offshore “cyclone” expected to impact areas south of Whatcom County

WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — A cyclone has been rapidly developing offshore in the eastern Pacific Ocean resulting in rare satellite and radar images.

GOES-18 infrared imaging (January 4, 2023, at 10:40am)

Forecasters in the National Weather Service Seattle office said this morning, January 4th, “A strong low-pressure system is visible well offshore in the Pacific early this morning with rain sliding northward across Oregon.” Light showers are expected to move northward across western Washington as the system breaks up after reaching land.

The biggest impacts appear to be winds forecast for the coastal and east Puget Sound lowland zones with gusty winds reaching 50mph peaking this evening into tonight (see alert areas on graphic below).

While high surf along the Pacific coast and waves exceeding 30 feet are expected to reach northern California and southern Oregon coast beaches, wave levels are expected to remain within seasonal norms at Whatcom County shores.

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