Storm Warning

By Pat Grubb

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for western Whatcom County including Point Roberts and points south. Heavy snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches are expected while some areas in the western part of the county may see only 2 to 4 inches. Outflow winds from the Fraser Valley could gust as high as 60 mph while temperatures are expected to drop into the 20s Friday night into Saturday.

In his weather blog, famed University of Washington meterologist Cliff Mass says, “There is going to be a major snow event over much of the Pacific Northwest starting late Friday and continuing into the weekend.” This will be a much larger event than what occurred on Sunday night and Monday morning this week, he said, pointing out that snow will be falling on a surface that is now cooled substantially.”

“I have studied Northwest snowstorms for years and even co-authored a paper on the subject. What is forecast to occur late Friday and this weekend is absolutely classic. The set-up for this snow event is nearly perfect, with a low center near the southwest tip of Washington state and very cold air over British Columbia. The reason why this is the “perfect” snowstorm situation is that the low center draws cold air into western Washington from B.C. (a lot of it through the Fraser Valley), while pushing moist air overhead. A veritable snow machine,” Mass wrote.

Not only that, there is another storm forecast for Monday and early Tuesday that could double the snowfall in some locations and even more by Wednesday morning, Mass wrote. “Snow apocalypse. One of greatest snow events in decades,” he added.

Mass concluded his warning by writing, “WSDOT and other local departments of transportation need to get prepared for perhaps the snowiest period since the large snowfall of December 1996, when Seattle received 21 inches. And yes, you might stock up on food before noon on Friday. I certainly am.”

Time to hunker down…

To see how Whatcom County Public Works is preparing for the storm check out this link.

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