Here’s how the King Day weekend forecast is shaping up for Whatcom County

Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr’s legacy in photos

From the beginning, cameras captured King's extraordinary career. See the photos here, 50 years later after Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination.
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From the beginning, cameras captured King's extraordinary career. See the photos here, 50 years later after Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination.

A strong storm with periods of rain opens the holiday weekend, but only showers with some sun breaks are expected Sunday and Monday, with scattered clouds and a chance to see the lunar eclipse.

High wind and heavy rain is forecast Friday night through Saturday morning, prompting a wind advisory for Whatcom County and the San Juans, but meteorologists see only isolated power outages from this big blow.

Winds of 20 to 35 mph are expected from the south, with gusts to 45 mph overnight.

An inch or less of rain could fall across the region, and isolated power outages are possible, said Chris Burke at the National Weather Service in Seattle.

“Most of the things that could fall have fallen down already,” Burke said.

Seasonal high tides Saturday could cause damage from Sandy Point to Semiahmoo, according to a coastal flood watch from the National Weather Service.

A high tide of 9.7 feet is at 5:14 a.m. at Blaine, followed by an afternoon high tide of 10 feet at 2:01 p.m., according to tides.net.

In between, there’s a relatively high low tide of tide of 7.6 feet at 9:30 a.m.

No major flooding is expected along the Nooksack River.

Warm weather will continue, with highs around 50 and lows in the 40s, Burke said, but rain is likely Saturday, changing to mostly cloudy skies with a chance of showers Sunday and the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday Monday.

A break in the clouds Sunday night could allow Bellingham skywatchers a chance to see a “super blood moon” eclipse, starting about 6:30 p.m. and lasting until just before midnight, according to timeanddate.com.

MLK Jr. holiday events

The Whatcom County Volunteer Center lists a number of indoor and outdoor community service activities to mark the holiday. Events include the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association’s work party to improve salmon habitat from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday at Maritime Heritage Park. Volunteers should park at 1600 C St. and sign in near the fish hatchery.

The city’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration is inside from noon to 1:30 p.m. Monday at the Mount Baker Theatre. “Mothers of the Movement,” co-sponsored by the Ralph Munro Institute for Civic Education, looks at “the role of women and women of color in the civil rights movement,” according to the theater’s website. The event is free, but people are asked to bring a donation for the Bellingham Food Bank.

Jan. 12 MLK Day Salmon Restoration courtesy City of Bellingham - Public Work
Bellingham and the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association will mark Martin Luther King Day with a work party to improve salmon habitat at Maritime Heritage Park from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday. City of Bellingham Public Works Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Mount Baker snow level

Snow level in the North Cascades will be 3,500 to 5,000 feet, with up to a foot of snow at the Mount Baker Ski Area on Friday and a rain-snow mix Saturday morning at the lower elevations, followed by a few inches of snow in the afternoon.

Avalanche danger is high in the Mount Baker backcountry, according to the Northwest Avalanche Center.

Mount Baker reported a 2018-2019 snowfall of 296 inches through Monday, which was the deepest in North America, according to the website Snowbrains.com.

With the change in weather, air quality has improved and a burn ban was lifted this week for residents in the Kendall and Maple Falls area, according to a statement from the Northwest Clean Air Agency.

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