Strong winds are expected across Whatcom County through about noon Friday, coupled with a winter weather advisory for the mountains and the possibility of snow flurries overnight Thursday.
Forecasters warned of sustained winds at 20-35 mph and gusts to 50 mph. The advisory from the National Weather Service is in effect until noon Friday as a cold front sweeps south from British Columbia.
“It’s the typical change of the seasons,” Weather Service meteorologist Art Gaebel said earlier this week.
Hardest-hit areas will be interior Whatcom County, including Lynden and Ferndale and coastal regions such as Lummi Island, Sandy Point, Cherry Point, Birch Bay and the northern and eastern San Juan Islands.
Local power outages and tree damage are possible, the weather service said.
A gale warning was posted for the Salish Sea.
Cold temperatures and scattered showers are expected through the weekend, with daytime highs in the low 40s and overnight lows in the mid-30s.
A light dusting of snow is possible in the wee hours of Friday morning above the 200-foot level in Whatcom County, the weather service said. That could include areas as close to Bellingham as Geneva and Sudden Valley.
Canadian weather service Environment Canada predicted a 30 percent chance of flurries early Friday in Abbotsford, B.C., just north of Lynden and Sumas. An overnight low of 37 degrees was forecast with a high Friday of 43.
Friday’s snow is not expected to accumulate or affect the morning commute, U.S. forecasters said. Temperatures are expected to remain above freezing.
But up to 6 inches of snow is expected through Friday morning in the North Cascades, according to a winter weather advisory issued early Thursday. Drivers on upper elevations of the Mount Baker and North Cascades highways should expect snow-covered roads and decreased visibility, the weather service said.
A chance of flurries is possible Saturday night and early Sunday morning, the forecast said.
Sunny skies are forecast for Monday, with highs in the mid-40s.