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Updated forecasts detail first expected winter storm of the season

Sledders gathered behind Skyline Elementary School in Ferndale on one of 11 snow days during the 2016-17 school year (December 12, 2016). Photo: Whatcom News

WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — Forecasts are becoming more specific as the weather systems expected to bring strong winds and heavy snow to Whatcom County get closer.

A cool but dry start to Tuesday across the region in between weather systems. However, this will quickly change as additional storm[s] approach and move through the [western Washington] area bringing mountain snow and periods of rain, snow, or a mix to the lowlands.

A front approaching this evening will bring gusty winds to much of the area, as well as lowland snow. Another system will bring another opportunity late Wednesday through early Thursday, with yet another system approaching by the end of the week. Seattle office of the National Weather Service (November 29, 2022)

Forecasters with the Seattle office of the National Weather Service (NWS) said this morning areas in Whatcom County were among the coldest in western Washington due to cold Fraser Valley outflow winds. Further outflow winds are possible again later Wednesday into Thursday.

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A winter weather advisory has been issued for the lowland interior and coastal areas from 1pm today, Tuesday, November 29th, through 4pm tomorrow due to expected total snow accumulations of 1 to 4 inches, with locally higher amounts possible. The advisory area includes the lowlands of western Whatcom County, including Point Roberts, Lummi Island, Bellingham and Sumas, and the lowlands of western Skagit County to Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County.

A high wind warning has been issued from 4pm today through 7am tomorrow due to expected east to southeast sustained winds of 30 to 40mph with gusts up to 55mph. The warning area includes western Whatcom County along with San Juan County, western Skagit County and the Admiralty Inlet area.

A winter storm warning has been issued from 1pm today through 4pm tomorrow for higher elevations due to expected heavy snow and powerful winds. Total snow accumulations of 1 to 2 feet in the higher elevations and 6 to 12 inches in the valleys are possible along with winds gusting as high as 50mph. The warning area includes the Cascade mountains and valleys of Whatcom and Skagit Counties.

While the accumulations decrease as one moves towards the coast, the low areas of Whatcom County will not avoid some snow accumulation from this storm system. Wind chills will drop into the single digits, especially during peak gusts. Put your winter safety kit in your vehicle-small shovel, extra warm clothes, blanket, food and water, flashlight, etc. Snowplows will be out at some point. Stay off the road, if possible so plows can keep things open for emergency vehicles. Power losses are also possible due to branches being broke off and falling on power lines. Look out for your neighbors if they need extra assistance. Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Department of Emergency Management (November 29, 2022)

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.

Readers are encouraged to stay up to date on local driving conditions via the Whatcom News Traffic page.

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