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Rural Whatcom County hit with cold, wind as weather deteriorates

Friday morning snow dusts downtown Bellingham

A snow flurry dusts downtown Bellingham Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. The snow is expected to turn to rain on Saturday and Sunday before turning back to snow Sunday night into Monday, weather experts said.
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A snow flurry dusts downtown Bellingham Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. The snow is expected to turn to rain on Saturday and Sunday before turning back to snow Sunday night into Monday, weather experts said.

Despite a forecast that called for mostly rain through the weekend and snow late Sunday, parts of Whatcom County didn’t get a break from freezing conditions Saturday.

The National Weather Service extended a winter weather advisory to 4 a.m. Sunday, warning of snow in the northern part of the county and freezing rain in the south. The weather could make for slick roads, the weather service said.

A high wind watch for western Whatcom County was also issued from Sunday afternoon through Monday morning.

The warnings came amid forecasts for more snow in rural Whatcom County. John Gargett, deputy director of emergency management with the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, released a weather briefing around 2 p.m. Saturday predicting 1 to 3 inches of lowland snow, 4 to 6 inches in eastern Whatcom County and up to 18 inches in the mountains.

Those conditions, along with temperatures around freezing, were likely to extend into Monday, the report said.

County emergency management officials, Gargett has said, rely on data from multiple weather services in the U.S. and Canada to predict conditions.

About 4,500 people were without power across the county, according to Gargett’s report Saturday. The outages were a result of equipment damage from wind, ice and snow, according to Puget Sound Energy.

Bellingham appeared to have been spared the worst Saturday afternoon. Light rain came and went throughout the day, though temperatures hovered around freezing, according to the National Weather Service.

Kyle Mittan: 360-756-2803, @KyleMittan

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