Add snow to the icy conditions forecast for Friday morning

Ice hangs off a holly leaf after freezing rain hit Bellingham in 2005.
Ice hangs off a holly leaf after freezing rain hit Bellingham in 2005. The Bellingham Herald file

Add an inch or two of snow to the icy mix of rain and freezing rain that could disrupt the Friday morning commute in lowland Whatcom and Skagit counties.

A statement issued Thursday by the National Weather Service in Seattle indicates that areas above 500 feet, from Skagit County northward, could receive “a couple of inches of snow Friday morning.” Heavy snow is forecast for the mountains through the weekend.

Friday morning’s icy conditions will come as a warm, wet system moves north from California, the weather service said. Ice and snow are unlikely to remain on the ground as temperatures are expected to rise into the 40s Friday afternoon. Icy conditions are expected Friday morning below 2,500 feet.

“Ice accumulations are expected to be less than a tenth of an inch,” the weather service statement said.

Areas of concern around Bellingham include the hills surrounding the city – in areas such as the upper Samish, Puget and Whatcom Falls neighborhoods, Sudden Valley, and the Yew Street Road area.

Rain is likely in lowland Whatcom County for the rest of Friday and through the weekend, with temperatures reaching into the mid-40s.

Heavy snow is likely in the North Cascades, including Mt. Baker Ski Area, with accumulations of 3 to 5 inches Friday, 6 to 10 inches Friday night, and continued snowfall Saturday into Sunday. Daytime highs will be in the upper 20s.

Some 3 feet or more of snow is forecast for the Mount Baker area from Friday through Sunday.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty