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Weekend weather takes a turn for the worse, forecasters say

Here’s the science behind why the wind blows

Learn about the science of wind with this video from the National Weather Service.
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Learn about the science of wind with this video from the National Weather Service.

A series of storms that will hit Western Washington through the weekend could be stronger locally than previously expected, National Weather Service forecasters said Friday afternoon in an email briefing.

A wind advisory was set for 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, with south winds of 20 to 35 mph with gusts of 40 to 55 mph.

A small-craft advisory was in effect for the north Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands.

Whatcom County residents can expect south winds of 15 to 30 mph Friday night, along with showers and possible thundershowers.

“There is a small chance that winds will be locally stronger than forecast,” weather service officials said. “Stronger winds than forecast would result in a few trees downed and minor wind damage to roofs and fences.”

Local power outages were possible from winds that strong, forecasters said.

Driving could be difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles.

Rain or showers are forecast through the weekend, with accumulations of a half-inch to an inch total through Sunday.

Localized heavy rainfall was possible in thunderstorms, and a storm due Sunday night could bring locally heavy rain.

Snow levels were forecast at 3,500 to 4,000 feet Saturday, rising to 4,000 to 5,000 feet Sunday.

Warm asphalt could limit accumulations in the passes.

Lowland temperatures were expected in the mid-50s, with overnight lows in the 40s.

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.