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Weather offers a weekend reprieve, but here’s when to expect more snow

Take a drive down Bellingham’s snowy streets

Watch a speedy journey down some of Bellingham's most popular streets on Wednesday morning, Feb. 13, 2019. While there are warmer temperatures are on the way, many streets still remain covered in snow and ice.
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Watch a speedy journey down some of Bellingham's most popular streets on Wednesday morning, Feb. 13, 2019. While there are warmer temperatures are on the way, many streets still remain covered in snow and ice.

Sunny skies are expected Sunday with temperatures near 40 degrees — a welcome reprieve after a week of heavy snow and brutal arctic wind across lowland Whatcom County.

But daytime temperatures will remain far below the 48 degrees that’s normal for mid-February in Bellingham and more snow is possible next week.

Clear skies will last into the Presidents Day holiday, but National Weather Service forecasters said they can’t rule out more snow.

“While we dry out, it will also be cooler,” said meteorologist Jeff Michalski in Seattle.

“That sets us up for another cool offshore flow ahead, and there’s a little moisture coming in Tuesday,” Michalski said in an interview. “We’re still parsing the details of this next system, but right now it looks like Tuesday into Wednesday.”

Environment Canada is also forecasting snow on Tuesday and Wednesday for Abbotsford, B.C., across the border from Lynden and Sumas.

Michalski said it’s still too far to predict with certainty, but “we’re talking about snow across all of Western Washington.”

And now for the bad news.

Temperatures will dip back into the 20s at night Saturday and Sunday, leading to black ice on roads as snowmelt continues.

Long-range forecasts show no sign that the cold snap will ease, and NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center indicates a nearly a 100 percent chance of temperatures at levels far below normal for at least the next two weeks.

“People are already talking about the coldest February on record,” Michalski said. “We could be heading that way.”

Robert Mittendorf covers civic issues, weather, traffic and how people are coping with the high cost of housing for The Bellingham Herald. A journalist since 1984, he’s also a volunteer firefighter for South Whatcom Fire Authority.
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