Forecasters see a gray, wet week ahead – with sun by the weekend

Zuanich Point Park in Squalicum Harbor seen through a window in the rain.
Zuanich Point Park in Squalicum Harbor seen through a window in the rain. pdwyer@bellinghamherald.com

Whatcom County residents will see a chilly, gray and wet week ahead with one bright spot – Saturday appears sunny for now, forecasters said.

“It’s definitely looking showery,” said meteorologist Johnny Burg at the National Weather Service in Seattle. “There might be a dry day, Saturday, but until then, rain every day.”

Expect a chance of rain Tuesday with a high of 45, easing to a chance of showers by Tuesday night with a low of 37.

Burg said temperatures will drop slightly from February’s normal highs in the 40s and lows in the mid-30s. Daytime temperatures for the week ahead will be in the low 40s, with overnight lows near freezing, he said.

“It’s possible that the snow level will be lower,” Burg said. “But right now, we’re not predicting a big snowstorm or anything like that.”

Neither is Environment Canada, which is posting a similar forecast for the Abbotsford, B.C., area north of Sumas.

After all the snow in early February, the Bellingham area’s monthly rainfall is running slightly above normal, Burg said. Measurements at Bellingham International Airport show 3.66 inches of rain so far this month, compared with a normal February rainfall of 3.02. Record February rainfall is 8.71 inches, set in 1982.

For all of early February’s rain, ice and snow, the ground remains saturated with the threat of landslides still possible but slowly easing, Burg said. Forecasters see no immediate flooding concerns, he said.

For winter sports enthusiasts, Burg said the weather in the North Cascades is looking good, with snow showers expected daily through the week.

Avalanche danger is moderate on the western slopes of the North Cascades, both above and below the treeline, according to the Northwest Avalanche Center.

Excellent powder conditions were reported Monday at Mt. Baker Ski Area, with light snow falling and 16 inches of new snow over the past two days.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty