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Ice glaze from freezing rain on an exterior window (February 4, 2017). Photo courtesy of Paul Ingram

Freezing rain update for noon Thursday

Freezing rain occurring across western Whatcom County has the attention of National Weather Service forecasters in their Seattle office. As of 9:45am, they noted some areas close to the water and just south of Bellingham had warmed above freezing. Temperatures are below freezing over the remainder of the County just inland from the water.

Forecasters reported that, from around Ferndale and further inland, there were reports of sleet and freezing rain accumulating on trees, roadways and other surfaces. They warned travel will remain dangerous through the day as northeasterly flow at the surface is keeping cold air trapped. Warmer air aloft is slowly making its way into western Washington and a change over to rain is still anticipated at locations partially inland like Ferndale and Blaine before noon. Further inland, freezing rain/sleet may persist longer into the afternoon.

The winter storm warming has been extended through the rest of the afternoon today and indicates most of the expected ice accumulation today will be limited to locations further inland such as Lynden and Sumas.

Another surface low and warm front, even stronger than today’s system, will approach the area this evening according to forecasters. A return to a northeasterly flow could return over western Whatcom causing a drop in temperatures. Forecasters say they will need to evaluate the potential for a freezing rain threat over interior parts of the county tonight and tomorrow, but are leaving the current forecast as rain for now.

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