Snow falling in Whatcom County likely to taper off by Sunday


A day after sunny, 50-degree weather hinted at springtime, a light snow started to fall Saturday in Bellingham and parts of Whatcom County.

As the saying goes, the flakes brought March 1, 2014, in like a lion, in the second consecutive weekend of snow caused by cold northern air pushed south from British Columbia’s Fraser Valley over Northwest Washington.

A winter storm advisory issued by the National Weather Service on Saturday evening predicted western Whatcom County and parts of the San Juan Islands could get an accumulation of 2 inches from late Saturday night to early Sunday morning. Earlier predictions had called for 4 to 7 inches by Sunday night, but that winter storm watch was canceled.

Winds consistently reached gusts in the high 30s at Bellingham International Airport on Friday night, but started to calm down Saturday afternoon, hovering around 17 mph with gusts in the mid-20s. The forecast was for a north-northeast wind around 5 mph Sunday that would calm through the morning.

Temperatures were expected to reach a low of about 30 degrees late Saturday, with a 90 percent chance of snow overnight. Those freezing temperatures mean any moisture on the road could turn to ice.

The NWS predicted about an inch could stick during the night, with little to no snow accumulating Sunday.

Things were expected to warm up to a high near 38 degrees Sunday, and the snow was expected to turn to rain by 10 a.m., continuing through evening when temperatures were expected to drop to about 34 degrees. The rain was expected to stick around through Monday. In anticipation of the weekend’s cold temperatures, Interfaith Coalition announced it would open its severe weather shelters Saturday and Sunday nights. The shelters are open from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m., with dinner and breakfast served. The men’s shelter is at Faith Lutheran Church, on the corner of McLeod Road and Northwest Avenue. The women’s and children’s shelter is at Garden Street United Methodist Church, on the corner of Garden and Magnolia streets. Salt on the Street provides transportation from 5 to 8 p.m., with pick-ups at the Rainbow Center, 209 W. Holly St., and Church on the Street, 901 W. Holly St.

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