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Light rain or snow expected Saturday night into Sunday before Whatcom County warms up

Bellingham remains cold and sunny, but warmer days may be coming

Bellingham remained sunny and cold Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2016, and Whatcom County officials are warning of possible continued freezing temperatures and snow or freezing rain by Friday. The cold conditions are expected to preempt a relatively warm wee
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Bellingham remained sunny and cold Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2016, and Whatcom County officials are warning of possible continued freezing temperatures and snow or freezing rain by Friday. The cold conditions are expected to preempt a relatively warm wee

Whatcom County is likely to see rain and snow Saturday night into Sunday before temperatures take a turn for the warmer, according to Friday weather forecasts.

The moisture expected Saturday night – which could be rain, snow or a mix of both – is part of the area’s transition from cold to warm, said Dustin Guy, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Seattle. Saturday morning should bring temperatures in the low 20s with daytime highs in the upper 30s.

For those planning to go to the Seahawks’ playoff opener against Detroit at CenturyLink Field on Saturday evening, bring a rain jacket – the weather service expects either rain or light snow flurries during the game.

Saturday night lows in Whatcom County are likely to be around freezing, Guy said.

But that cold front should make way for warmer temperatures come Sunday afternoon, Guy said, and any snow left over should turn to rain. The colder temperatures residents endured over the past several days were the product of a cold-air outflow from British Columbia’s Fraser Valley, Guy said. The outflow tapered off a while ago, but the cold air stuck around.

The warmer conditions Sunday afternoon are a result of just the opposite, Guy said – winds from the south that bring in warmer air. Sunday’s high is expected to reach into the low 40s, and those temperatures are likely to stay until at least Tuesday.

But snow will continue to fall in the mountains, Guy said. Mount Baker, he added, is likely to measure its snowfall in feet come Tuesday.

And even with the warming trend, drivers should always use caution on roads when rain and snow showers mix with freezing temperatures, Guy said, like what is expected for Saturday night.

“The initial precipitation will stick to roads pretty well,” he said, “so be on the lookout for ice on roadways into Sunday.”

Kyle Mittan: 360-756-2803, @KyleMittan

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