FERNDALE, Wash. — A high pressure system carrying frigid Artic air has been dropping down through British Columbia and is expected to be pulled through the Fraser Valley into Whatcom County according to National Weather Service and Environment Canada forecasters.
NWS Seattle office issued a Wind Advisory this morning forewarning of sustained northeast winds of 25 to 35mph with gusts up to 50mph. The advisory is in effect from this morning through 10am Friday, February 12th.
The weather anomaly referred to by locals as the Fraser Valley Outflow has historically produced a well-defined channel of strong winds. When occurring during the winter, these winds will push much colder and drier air from the Canadian Rockies into the northwest region of the County.
Fraser Outflow will likely begin in earnest early this morning, with gusty conditions experienced across the San Juans and into the Eastern Strait. Wind Advisories are in effect for Western Whatcom and Skagit County as well as the San Juan Islands beginning this morning.
While winds are expected to peak late Thursday morning, computer weather forecast models disagree on the maximum wind gust speed with estimates ranging between 40 and 60mph.
The cold Artic air delivered by the strong northeasterly winds are expected to result in a drop in area temperatures which, when combined with the strong winds, is expected to result in significantly lower wind chill values.
Area temperatures are expected be in the 20s today with wind chill values in the teens. Temperatures are expected to drop into the teens tonight creating wind chill values in the single-digits. Slightly colder temperatures are expected for Thursday and Thursday night.
Environment Canada issued a cold weather warning this morning that advises, “Minimize exposed skin with hats, scarves and mittens or gloves. Ensure that shelter is provided for pets and outdoor animals.”