After a chilly start to April, weather in Whatcom County is about to get warmer — but at a price.
A warm, wet storm system is breezing in from the south this weekend, bringing with it a blustery day or two.
Meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Seattle said that the storm packs rain and gusty winds Saturday, but will ease Sunday to showers and light winds.
Winds will be heaviest near the coast Saturday morning, with sustained winds of 20 mph to 30 mph and gusts to 40 mph.
Heaviest winds were expected from about Everett north to Whidbey Island.
A gale warning was issued from Saturday morning to Sunday morning for coastal waters of Whatcom County.
Meteorologists said there was still a chance of a "marginal high wind event along the coast (sustained winds 40 mph or gusts to 58 mph)," and a high wind watch remained in effect, according to Friday morning's online forecast discussion.
Temperatures this weekend will be in the mid-50s, after five straight days where the daytime high never rose above 50 degrees, according to records at Bellingham International Airport.
As much as a half-inch of rain is expected Saturday, and another quarter inch of rain Sunday, which together would about equal Thursday's record-setting rainfall.
A total 0.78 inch of rain was recorded Thursday, surpassing the 0.67 inch mark from 1988.
This weekend's rain and wind is part of a warm, wet storm that's focused on northern California and southern Oregon, the weather service said.
Heaviest rain was expected over the Olympic Mountains, with as much as 3 to 4 inches possible.
No lowland flooding was forecast for Whatcom County, and the Nooksack River was below flood stage both near Nugents Corner and at Ferndale..
Monday brings a break in the gloomy weather, with partly sunny skies and temperatures near 60 degrees.
Rain returns Tuesday, with a series of weaker storms bringing showers through at least Thursday, according to the weather service's extended forecast.