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Whatcom spring: ‘I don’t see that happening any time soon.’ Here’s why.

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.

Snow is in the forecast again this week in the Whatcom County winter that seems like it will never end.

“You’re definitely getting some of the coldest air in the continent right now,” said Chris Burke of the National Weather Service in Seattle.

“It’s been a Fraser Outflow forever for you,” Burke said in an interview.

Burke said sunny skies with high temperatures in the low 40s are expected through Tuesday, but some precipitation is moving in from the south on Wednesday, and snow or a mix of rain and snow is possible from Wednesday afternoon through Friday.

“A little snow is possible,” Burke said. “Not a major event.”

Snow levels will be 200 to 500 feet, with about an inch or less of snow closer to sea level and 2-3 inches on the lowland hills away from the water.

Little effect on roads is likely, according to an email update from the weather service Monday afternoon.

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Snow is in the forecast again this week for Whatcom County. National Weather Service Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

And now for the bad news: Western Washington’s unseasonable deep freeze could last for a while.

“It’s still gonna be cold. Every night it will get below freezing,” Burke said. “That doesn’t shout out that snow is finished.”

February in Bellingham was the coldest in 70 years of record-keeping, with an average temperature of 32.2 degrees.

Burke said it will take a significant change in the wind, from the northeast Fraser Outflow to a warm onshore breeze, to end the cycle of cold.

“That’s a typical spring,” Burke said. “That will definitely change the pattern. But I don’t see that happening any time soon.”

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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