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MFN Washington Street webcam looking over Vista Drive (January 13, 2020).

First snow and cold temps create driving challenges

FERNDALE, Wash. — Ferndale School District and Lummi Nation Schools announced last night that they would be delaying classes 2 hours this morning, Monday, January 13th. These and other similar announcements from other Ferndale businesses and organizations followed the first significant snowfall of the winter season.

Light snow continued to fall overnight while the Ferndale area was battered by strong northeasterly winds. The result this morning is roads with some snow on less traveled roads and ice in places throughout.

City of Ferndale Public Works Supervisor Bo Westford said crews had been out sanding roads since 4am this morning.

Washington State Patrol Trooper Anthony Reese said via Twitter they had been busy dealing with multiple incidents along I-5. WSP reported handling 40 crashes in the short time between 5pm and 8pm yesterday, removed 5 trees that had fallen across roads and helped multiple stranded motorists.

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Reese noted, “Many of those collisions involved All Wheel Drive vehicles including Subaru’s. We know your cars are awesome but please please don’t push the limit or see how fast you can drive on snowy or icy roadways because it’s simply not safe or very smart.”

In addition to the driving challenges, Fraser Valley outflow winds have resulted in much lower temperatures than the area has been accustom.

A weather station located near Ferndale High School has been reporting a steady stream of northeasterly wind gusts up to 40mph since 9pm yesterday. Accompanying these winds was a steady drop in temperature from a high of 42°F yesterday to 15°F as of 8am this morning.

As a result, the National Weather Service issued a Wind Chill Advisory at 8am this morning for western Whatcom County that will be in effect until 11am. It warns, “Very cold wind chills continue. Wind chills as low as zero.”

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Computer forecast models say to expect temperatures to continue between the low 20s and the teens through Wednesday morning with a slight chance of snow.

NWS weather forecasters say a strong weather system will likely reach the area Wednesday night and Thursday bringing the opportunity for more snow. A warmer and rainy weather system is expected to move in by the weekend bringing temperatures back up into upper 30s and low 40s.

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