Snow blankets Sudden Valley
An overturned semi was blocking all lanes of southbound Interstate 5 south of Bellingham as snow fell across parts of Whatcom County early Friday, promising a slow and slick morning commute for some drivers.
A half-inch to about 3 inches or more of snow fell starting after midnight, mostly across the lowlands of southern and eastern Whatcom County, observers said.
No Whatcom County schools were closed as of 5 a.m. Friday, but Mount Baker School District buses were on snow routes.
Bellingham Public Schools had a scheduled day off.
Temperatures hovered near freezing before dawn as snow began falling about 3 a.m.
Snow continued past 9 a.m. and tapered off as overcast skies cleared to broken clouds.
Partly sunny skies were expected by Friday afternoon, with highs in the low 40s as unseasonably cold weather continued across Western Washington, the National Weather Service said in its online forecast.
Normal high temperature for the date is 51 degrees.
Forecast for Saturday and Sunday looks sunny and warmer, with highs from the mid-40s to near 50.
Environment Canada was reporting mostly cloudy skies with temperatures at freezing in Abbotsford, B.C., just north of Sumas.
A chance of flurries remained through Friday in the metro Vancouver area, the Canadian weather service reported online.
Randy Small of Lynden, who maintains the Whatcom County Weather page on Facebook, said he saw no snow near his house early Friday.
A Facebook follower posted about 3 inches of snow covered Cain Lake Road in southern Whatcom County, and another reported 4 inches to the east near Acme.
Others followers reported snow in Kendall and Sumas.
Observers in the Barkley neighborhood of Bellingham reported a dusting of snow on yards, and as much as 2 inches had fallen in Sudden Valley.
No snow was on the ground in downtown Bellingham, closer to the waterfront, but about a half-inch to an inch of snow-dusted lawns in the Whatcom Falls neighborhood.
Main roads in Bellingham were clear and wet.
Roads south and east of Bellingham were snow-covered and icy in spots and bare in others.
Another crash was reported about 6:30 a.m., on Grandview Road west of Ferndale.
It was unknown if weather was a factor in that wreck or in the semi crash near the North Lake Samish Drive ramp.
Mt. Baker Ski Area was open for normal midweek operations, according to its website.
Eight inches of snow fell in the past day, ski area officials reported on their website.
Saturday features the ski area’s 10th annual Baker Beacon Rally at the ski area, a free event that focuses on avalanche safety and showcases the latest equipment demonstrated by avalanche experts.
Meanwhile, avalanche conditions were at the “considerable” level in the Mount Baker wilderness backcountry, the Northwest Avalanche Center reported at its website.