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Storm brought record rainfall, high temperatures for Nov. 5

Heavy rainfall swells Nooksack Falls

A near-record rainfall in October swelled the Nooksack River, making for a spectacular fall show Sunday at Nooksack Falls, where the Middle Fork drops 88 feet into a rock canyon northeast of Bellingham, Wash.
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A near-record rainfall in October swelled the Nooksack River, making for a spectacular fall show Sunday at Nooksack Falls, where the Middle Fork drops 88 feet into a rock canyon northeast of Bellingham, Wash.

Two weather records for Bellingham fell Saturday, as both daily rainfall and high temperature marks toppled.

A high of 66 degrees was recorded at 1 a.m. Saturday, edging the high of 65 degrees set Nov. 5, 1980, according to National Weather Service statistics recorded at Bellingham International Airport.

Daily rainfall was 2.05 inches after several heavy squalls throughout the day, sinking the previous record of less than an inch – .73 – on Nov. 5, 1988. Measurements were taken from 1 a.m. Saturday to 1 a.m. Sunday.

Boy, it’s been wet. We’re heading into our wettest days of the year, and it’s already halfway to normal.

Andy Haner, National Weather Service meteorologist

“Boy, it did come down,” said Andy Haner, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Seattle. “That’s about as heavy as it gets around here.”

Posts on social media indicated that several roads across Whatcom County were blocked at various times by large puddles from heavy rain squalls. Drivers reported low visibility after dark. Several crashes were reported during Saturday night’s storm, but police and fire officials could not say if rain was a factor.

“There were a lot of roads that had standing water,” said Chief Mel Blankers of Whatcom County Fire District 1 in Everson.

A power outage that affected traffic signals at Meridian Street and Bakerview Road may have been partly to blame for a T-bone crash about 10:50 p.m. Saturday.

Puget Sound Energy officials said an underground cable failed, knocking out service to 451 customers from 9:27 p.m. to 11:17 p.m. Witness accounts on social media said most drivers were treating the darkened intersection as a four-way stop, but one driver apparently didn’t notice that the signals were out.

The forecast for the rest of the week calls for occasional rain and continued warm temperatures, with daytime highs in the low 60s and overnight lows in the 50s.

November is traditionally Bellingham’s wettest month, with an average rainfall of 5.8 inches.

“Boy, it’s been wet,” Haner said. “We’re heading into our wettest days of the year, and it’s already halfway to normal.”

Historical records show that the wettest days of the year are Nov. 15 and 16, when Haner said more rain falls than on any other day of the year.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty

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