Whatcom County residents may wake up to a thin layer of snow Tuesday morning, Dec. 10, but any snowfall should change to rain by the end of the day as the temperature gradually climbs, according to the National Weather Service.
Snow is possible in the lowlands until 10 a.m. Tuesday before changing to a mix of rain and snow and then just rain, NWS meteorologist Josh Smith said. The temperature could reach 36 degrees.
The low for Tuesday night is expected to be 33 degrees, which is as high as the thermometer has reached in days.
The recent cold snap led Interfaith Coalition to open its severe weather shelters for eight straight nights to keep people out of the sub-freezing temperatures. Monday night was expected to be the last night for the shelter as temperatures are forecasted to gradually increase.
The Wednesday forecast calls for daytime highs in the mid-40s and overnight lows hovering around 40 degrees along with a good chance of rain through Sunday.
"We're expecting more typical December weather," Smith.
Northern areas of the county along the Canadian border got snow early Monday, though it wasn't enough to disrupt traffic.
"There's just enough snow to make it white," said Sumas Mayor Bob Bromley, owner of Bromley's Market IGA.
Bromley wasn't too concerned about the snow, though he was hoping that conditions wouldn't get too icy as the weather got wetter.
Smith said there could be some ice where snow melts and refreezes Tuesday morning, though freezing rain isn't expected to be an issue. Where snow does fall, it should be less than an inch of accumulation, Smith said.
"For the most part, we're just looking at a small amount of snow," Smith said. "It won't be a shutdown of the city or anything like that."
Whatcom County Public Works put down de-icer Monday in anticipation of frosty conditions, but workers weren't expecting too much snow, said Rob Ney, assistant superintendent of maintenance and operations. The weather service used by the county had said that the worst conditions would probably be along Highway 9 toward the east end of the county and south near Lake Samish.