Wet Whatcom weather great for skiing, watching Seahawks


The forecast for Saturday, Jan. 11, promises good football weather - good for staying at home and watching the Seahawks game on TV, that is.

Lots of rain, wind and mountain snow are in the forecast for Whatcom County on Saturday and Sunday, but not enough to cause serious problems, the National Weather Service said.

Winds strong enough to break tree limbs and possibly knock out power were expected to die down by 6 a.m. on Saturday, when a wind advisory for Whatcom County was scheduled to end.

The heaviest rain from this weekend's storm will have moved through by Saturday morning. Low-lying areas were expected to get an inch of rain or more, the weather service said.

Flooding is a concern for the Stillaguamish River in Snohomish County and rivers farther south, meteorologist Chris Burke said. The Nooksack River is expected to crest slightly below flood stage early Sunday morning, Jan. 12.

Coastal flooding was predicted for the Washington coast, but Whatcom seaside communities such as Birch Bay and Sandy Point were not in harm's way, Burke said. Gusty winds will blow from the south. A northwest wind would be needed for the storm surge to encroach on shoreline properties, Burke said.

While the freezing level is expected to reach 6,000 feet or higher on Saturday morning, the Mt. Baker Ski Area is anticipating a skier-friendly weekend for those who prefer getting out of the house to watching football. The ski area's website reported on Friday afternoon, Jan. 10, that 28 inches of snow had fallen since Wednesday. Another 12 or 13 inches were expected on Saturday, the website said.

Seattle Seahawks fans won't be neglected at the ski area. Officials there said they are breaking a "60-year tradition" by putting a TV on the third floor of White Salmon Lodge for the Saturday afternoon game.

Seattle hosts New Orleans in an NFC divisional playoff game at CenturyLink Field. Kickoff is 1:35 p.m.

Reach Ralph Schwartz at 360-715-2289 or ralph.schwartz@bellinghamherald.com. Read his Politics blog at bellinghamherald.com/politics-blog or get updates on Twitter at @bhampolitics.

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