WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — A weather system said to be originating in the Gulf of Alaska is expected to reach western Washington late Friday, December 10th, bringing moderate rain and a potential for powerful winds according to an extended forecast issued today, December 7th.
We are expecting a stronger system to be making its way through the area starting late Friday and continuing into the weekend. Unlike the stronger weather systems, we have seen last month this system is originating out of the Gulf of Alaska, which means that it will be a colder system (compared to what we saw in November). As a result, snow levels are expected to be in the 2500-3500 range during the event. Expected snowstorm totals will continue to fluctuate as there is still some uncertainty in the track of the storm. That said, ensemble guidance shows that the passes have a 60-70% chance of seeing at least a foot of snow, with the potential to see greater than 2 feet at the passes.
This system is also expected to bring widespread strong southerly winds across the region Friday night into Saturday. Current model guidance suggests widespread wind gusts of at least 40 mph across Western Washington by Saturday morning. Recent NBM 10% probabilistic guidance has been supporting this, with potential for gusts approaching 60 mph on the outer coast and along the Whatcom/Skagit County coastline Saturday morning.National Weather Service Seattle office forecast (December 7, 2021)
Current forecast models say to expect up to an inch of rainfall in the Whatcom County lowlands.
Current Nooksack River level forecasts expect a noticeable rise in the river level following the arrival of this storm system. The river level forecasts for the Saxon bridge and Cedarville gauge locations remain well below the “Action Stage” while the level in Ferndale almost reaches the “Action Stage.”
These are extended forecasts and likely to change as the event approaches.
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. Tapping anywhere on the map will display a detailed location-specific forecast.
River level forecasts are also updated frequently, and the latest forecasts can be viewed on the Whatcom News river page.