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Enjoy Saturday’s expected snow while it lasts – it’s supposed to warm up next week

A man wearing a Santa Claus hat heads to work on a frigid 17 degrees Friday morning, Dec. 16, 2016, outside the Whatcom Educational Credit Union main branch in Bellingham.
A man wearing a Santa Claus hat heads to work on a frigid 17 degrees Friday morning, Dec. 16, 2016, outside the Whatcom Educational Credit Union main branch in Bellingham. pdwyer@bhamherald.com

Despite some snowfall expected over the weekend, Whatcom County is likely to warm up soon, weather experts said.

High temperatures reached into the low 40s early last week, then dipped around the freezing point for much of the rest, according to National Weather Service data. The lows often stayed at or just below freezing, but dropped to 19 degrees on Thursday night.

Those conditions led to some school closures early in the week. Ferndale School District canceled its entire week of classes due to rural roads that didn’t thaw.

As cold as it was, no low-temperature records were set in the last week, said Mike McFarland, a weather service meteorologist in Seattle.

The weekend forecast, McFarland said, calls for a couple of light snow flurries during the daytime Saturday. The snow is likely to stop before nightfall, which could bring freezing temperatures.

The snow is expected to turn to rain on Sunday as the temperatures rise back into the 40s. It should stay that way for most of the next week, McFarland said.

Just like the cold temperatures were a result of cold southerly air from British Columbia’s Fraser Valley, warm air will pass over Whatcom County as it heads north.

“We’ll switch from Canadian air to Pacific air,” McFarland said. “It’ll feel like, ‘Wow, how did we get rid of the cold air so easily?’ 

Despite the warmer lowland temperatures, snow is expected on Mount Baker through Tuesday, he said.

Kyle Mittan: 360-756-2803, @KyleMittan

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