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Winter storm warning issued – icy conditions possible Thursday

The hills east of Blaine turned white Wednesday morning, Dec. 20, 2017, after snow fell the previous night. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for Whatcom County from 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 27 to noon Thursday.
The hills east of Blaine turned white Wednesday morning, Dec. 20, 2017, after snow fell the previous night. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for Whatcom County from 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 27 to noon Thursday. pdwyer@bhamherald.com

A weather system that meteorologists thought would bring rain to the area has worsened, prompting a winter storm warning for lowland Whatcom County.

Snow, ice and freezing rain are forecast for lowland and coastal areas such as Bellingham, Ferndale, Blaine, Lynden and Point Roberts, according to a National Weather Service statement issued Wednesday morning.

Some 1 to 3 inches of snow is possible through Thursday morning, changing to freezing rain. The storm warning is in effect from 6 p.m. Wednesday to noon Thursday.

“Temperatures at or below freezing combined with snow ... and freezing rain Thursday morning will cause slippery road conditions,” the statement said. “Conditions will be particularly hazardous as ice accumulates Thursday morning.”

Commuters should be extra careful Thursday morning, the weather service said.

A quarter inch of ice could accumulate on roads, trees and other surfaces by noon Thursday.

Canadian weather service Environment Canada issued a similar warning for Vancouver Island and southern British Columbia.

Earlier forecasts had indicated that temperatures would rise into the low 40s, but it now appears that temperatures will remain at or near freezing until Thursday afternoon, both U.S. and Canadian meteorologists said.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty

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