Bellingham area could get more snow Monday; schools closed, thousands without power

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDFebruary 24, 2014 

BELLINGHAM - The National Weather Service has updated its winter snow advisory, predicting 3-5 inches of new snow Monday morning, Feb. 24, for western Whatcom County.

Affected areas include Bellingham, Lynden and Sumas.

This is in contrast to previous reports that temperatures would warm up and snow would turn to rain, National Weather Service meteorologist Kirby Cook said.

"The last bit of cold air is hanging up around Bellingham," Cook said. "The snow could stay around for a good chunk of the day."

Sunday's storms forced the closure of Whatcom County public schools, Whatcom Community College and Bellingham Technical College. Early classes at Western Washington University were canceled, but the university opened at 10 a.m. for regular business.

Meanwhile, falling tree branches and heavy snow created more than 100 different power outages across Whatcom County, said Ray Lane, a spokesman for Puget Sound Energy. As of 11 a.m., about 2,900 PSE customers were still without power in Whatcom and Skagit counties, PSE said.

Whatcom County Public Works reported that the conditions in the northern part of the county are suffering from high winds. Whiteout conditions were reported on East Badger Road between Lynden and Sumas, according to Washington State Patrol.

County public works assistant superintendent Andy Bowler said wind makes plowing in those areas difficult.

"We can plow an area, but two hours later it's covered in snow again because of the drift," Bowler said.

The slow transition from cold to warm air could mean a period of freezing rain before the city and county see any rain, Cook said.

The forecast calls for warming temperatures overnight and rain, which should start washing away the snow.

Reach James Kozanitis at 360-715-2249 or james.kozanitis@bellinghamherald.com.

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