High winds, freezing temps to hit western Whatcom County through Saturday

Bundle up Whatcom County, it’s going to be bitterly cold this weekend thanks to a blast of Arctic air coming out of the Fraser River Valley.

Northeast winds of 20 to 39 mph were expected to hit western Whatcom County Friday night and into the afternoon of Saturday, Nov. 29 — with gusts of up to 50 miles per hour. Combined with temperatures in the 20s, the blustery weather will make it feel like it’s in the teens outside.

The strong winds could cause power outages, knock down tree branches and topple weak trees, according to the National Weather Service.

A dusting of snow could fall in Bellingham, Blaine and Lynden overnight Friday, possibly leaving behind less than half an inch of snow.

Saturday is expected to be one of the coldest days of fall so far: The high is expected to be about 27 degrees in Bellingham, though it should be mostly sunny. Overnight that will drop to about 19 degrees. High temperatures will rise a bit Sunday through Monday but remain in the 30s.

In response to the cold, Interfaith Coalition is opening its severe-weather shelters nightly through at least Saturday night to provide safe places for the homeless. The men’s shelter has a new location this year, at the Lighthouse Mission Drop-In Center, 1013 W. Holly St., about a block north of the mission. The shelter for women and children is at Garden Street Methodist Church, at the corner of Garden and Magnolia streets.

Shelters open at 5:30 p.m. each day. Salt on the Street will provide transportation to the shelters between 5 and 7 p.m. by picking up people at the Rainbow Center, 209 W. Holly St.; Northwest Baptist Church, 3545 Northwest Ave.; and Northwest Regional Council, 600 Lakeway Drive.

Crews were concerned about wet roads turning slick during the cold snap.

“People need to be cognizant of the ice and slow down overnight and into tomorrow,” Sean Duling, assistant superintendent of maintenance and operations for Whatcom County Public Works, said the afternoon of Friday, Nov. 28.

“People need to watch out for black ice and frost,” Duling added.

Crews were prepping for snow and ice removal during the cold snap.

On Friday, Whatcom County Public Works closed a section of Slater Road because of flooding from a tributary of the Nooksack River. Water levels were deepening on Friday.

“It’s going to become dangerous. It’s going to get dark,” Duling said.

That closure in a section between LaBounty and Ferndale roads was expected to continue into Sunday.

No significant flooding was reported on Bellingham roads.

Floodwaters started to pull back Friday afternoon but a flood warning remained in effect for the Nooksack River in the Nugent’s Corner-area through late Friday night.