WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — Forecasters with the Seattle office of the National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch today, Wednesday, December 21st, for the lowlands of western Whatcom County including Point Roberts and Lummi Island.
The watch will be in effect between 10pm on Thursday through 4am on Saturday.
According to the watch statement, heavy mixed precipitation will be possible with total snow accumulations of up to 4 inches and ice accumulations of up to a tenth of an inch possible.
Another winter storm watch was issued for the higher elevations in Whatcom County from 4pm on Thursday through 10pm on Friday. It forewarned of possible total snow accumulations of up to 12 inches and ice accumulations of up to a quarter of an inch.
Both watch statements warn of slippery road conditions and “a complex mix of winter precipitation with potentially significant impacts.”
Forecasters said this afternoon that a warm and moist Pacific air mass was expected to push inland late Thursday into Friday morning. The warming in the upper air will increase the potential for freezing rain over many areas of western Washington Friday morning and possibly Friday afternoon before becoming rain. This complex mix of winter precipitation from snow to ice accumulation due to freezing rain can create rain on snow or ice.
Western Whatcom County is expected to see 1 to 3 inches of snow before the change to rain. The transition to rain is expected to occur late Friday afternoon or later.
Friday into Saturday will see a significant warm up, with overnight lows remaining above freezing and high temperatures Saturday rising into the upper 40s and even low 50s across western Washington.
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.