Rain and breezy conditions are expected to continue through Wednesday, changing to showers Thursday following the windstorm that caused power outages in Whatcom County Monday.
Rain also is forecast for next weekend. Highs this week are expected in the low 50s and upper 40s, with overnight temperatures in the low 40s.
Bellingham’s one-day rainfall total of 0.87 inch on Sunday was more than the 0.81-inch total for the first 11 days of the month. Rain totals Monday were not available.
Hundreds of homes and businesses were without power Monday afternoon as a windstorm hit the county with gale-force winds and gusts that topped 40 mph.
Sustained winds in the afternoon were 30 mph, with gusts to near 50 mph, as measured at Bellingham International Airport.
Meteorologists said the storm was part of a strong front moving across the Puget Sound region from the south, bringing high winds and heavy rain.
Strongest winds Monday afternoon were near the Whatcom County shoreline, and across the North Cascades.
Meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Seattle issued a high-wind warning. A storm warning was issued for Bellingham Bay and surrounding Salish Sea waters. Recreational boaters and commercial vessel operators were advised to stay in port or take shelter.
“Not a great day to be outside!” NWS Seattle tweeted Monday morning. “Falling trees and branches in high wind can be deadly.”
A wind gust of 74 mph was recorded Monday morning at Mount Baker, a gust of 58 mph hit Ferndale, and a gust of 54 mph was recorded in Bellingham, the weather service tweeted.
More than 650 Puget Sound Energy customers in Whatcom County were without power Monday afternoon, according to PSE’s online outage map. Most of those customers were in a large area south of Lake Whatcom and Lake Samish, as well as Blaine – some 2,600 Puget Sound Energy customers were without power at 7:30 a.m. in the same areas where the power stopped at 10 p.m. Sunday.
There were no reports of serious vehicle crashes, but emergency radio traffic reported some minor collisions and some broken tree branches, and a few downed power lines Monday afternoon.
A tree fell on the Ridgeway Beta residence hall on Western Washington University’s campus. No one was injured, according to Paul Cocke, Western’s spokesman.
“The top of the tree landed on the roof and a large branch broke two small holes – several inches in diameter – through the roof and protruded through the ceiling into a room where two students lived,” according to an alert sent out by Western following the incident. “The two students were not injured and are being relocated in the residence hall. It is not known whether the students were in the room when the incident occurred.”
University officials said the residence hall was not evacuated and maintenance crews “assessed the damage and determined the roof was structurally sound.”
Crews will again examine at the roof Thursday.
The Bellingham Herald reporter Denver Pratt contributed to this report.