Wednesday and Thanksgiving Day will be warm and wet as a pair of moisture-laden storms barge in from the southwest, prompting warnings about landslides and flooding.
Heavy rain was forecast in a one-two punch of successive storms from Tuesday night through Thanksgiving, adding to the inch of rain that was recorded Sunday and Monday at Bellingham International Airport.
A special weather statement issued Monday warns of increased soil moisture and the possibility of landslides across the interior lowlands of Western Washington, including Whatcom County, according to the National Weather Service.
In addition, a flood watch was issued Tuesday through Thanksgiving for Western Washington, including Whatcom County.
“We’re going to get a double dose of moisture,” said Ted Buehner, a meteorologist who coordinates weather warnings at the weather service office in Seattle.
Buehner said the storms are carrying warm air and subtropical moisture but aren’t a classic Pineapple Express, which meteorologists call an “atmospheric river.” He said the warm weather will lift snow levels to about 8,000 feet, adding to river runoff.
Temperatures spiked late Tuesday, soaring from the mid-40s to a 61 degrees by 6:30 p.m. and breaking the record of 58 set in 1968, according to National Weather Service records at Bellingham International Airport.
Temperatures are expected in the low 60s Wednesday, which could mean a record high.
“It’s going to be pretty mild,” Buehner said. “Not as mild Thursday, but still well above seasonal norms.”
On the Nooksack River at Ferndale, gage height was above 8 feet and rising Tuesday morning, according to U.S. Geological Survey readings published online.
Forecast models show the Nooksack rising quickly over the next two days toward minor flood stage of 18 feet. The river is expected to crest Friday morning about 19 feet, below the moderate flood stage mark of 20.5 feet.
Near Nugents Corner, the Nooksack was at 140.5 feet and rising Tuesday. Forecast models show the river cresting Friday morning at the flood stage of 146.5 feet.
Whatcom County Public Works Department officials announced several road closures Wednesday because of flooding.
Mt. Baker Ski Area was reporting rain with a temperature of 44 degrees Tuesday afternoon at Heather Meadows. The ski area was running at normal midweek operations Tuesday, but planned to limit operations Wednesday.
▪ Bylsma Road north of East Wiser Lake Road: water / debris over roadway.
▪ Ferndale Road north of Slater Road: water / debris over roadway.
▪ Goodwin Road south of Sorenson Road: water / debris over roadway.
▪ Hemmi east of Hannegan: water / debris over roadway.
▪ Innis Creek Road: water / debris over roadway.
▪ Jackman, 9300 Block: caution shoulder erosion.
▪ Legoe Bay at West Shore: Lummi Island: posted for single lane ahead.
▪ Legoe Bay Road east of West Shore Drive: rough road motorcycles use caution.
▪ Marine Drive north of Bayon Road: water / debris over roadway.
▪ North Pass north of Deeter: water / debris over roadway.
▪ Oat Coles south of South Pass: water / debris over roadway.
▪ Pangborn east of Depot: abrupt lane edge, motorcycles use caution.
▪ Park Road, 4800 block: rough road, motorcycles use caution.
▪ West Shore Drive south of Nugent: single lane ahead, be prepared to stop.
▪ West Badger Road at Bertrand Creek Bridge: road restriction, 10-ton limitation - restricted, weight.
▪ Wickersham Road: water / debris over roadway.
▪ Woodland at Willeys Lake: caution, shoulder erosion.
Source: Whatcom County Public Works Department
This list last updated: Nov 22, 2017 2:09:47 p.m.