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Snow falling at Kona Court and Malloy Road (December 5, 2016). Video: My Ferndale News

Snow? maybe – forecast strong winds & cold temps are more concerning

Unlike recent years, the Ferndale area has not seen snow for the most part this winter season. But, as the forecast begins to include temperatures in the low 30s and below, the question about whether to expect snow starts becoming more frequent.

Low temperatures in the 30s are expected over the next few days. As a result, there is a chance of rain and snow or snow flurries during early morning hours. No accumulation is expected during these events if they do occur.

Starting Friday, rains and higher snow levels are expected through the weekend. Strong gusty southeasterly winds may result in wind advisories or warnings.

Next week’s extended forecast expects more wintry-like weather with temperatures dropping into the teens or further driven by strong northeasterly winds (aka Fraser Valley outflow) from Monday to Friday. But, this cold weather is not expected to be accompanied by precipitation so the probability for snow will remain minimal.

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Path of northeasterly Fraser Valley outflow winds. Graphic: My Ferndale News
Typical path of northeasterly Fraser Valley outflow winds. Graphic: My Ferndale News

Forecasters often voice a lack of confidence in making weather forecasts that go further out beyond 4 or 5 days and that was the case today when looking at what appears to be a dramatic turn to more winter-like weather across much of western Washington next week.

Things become more interesting (and tricky!) from Sunday onwards. Sunday initially looked to be the start of the trend towards much colder conditions, and although temps will be a few degrees colder than Saturday, conditions do not come out quite as cold as recent forecasts. Sunday is also trending wetter, with the possibility of some amount of marine influence. Much of the model guidance raises snow levels a tad on Sunday, which if were to verify, would place best chance for wintry weather across the far northern counties. Still a low confidence forecast and will need to be watched closely for changes.

Questions of the magnitude of the cold air and the moisture availability still remain unanswered and this will likely be the case for the next few days. There still remains the potential for an arctic front to drop south into western Washington Sunday night into Monday. Cold, dry air is seen in its wake with conditions drying out for Monday and Tuesday if this trend were to continue. This forecast will continue to be refined in time so there`s no significance to trying to speculate any further details right now. The bottom line is that the possibility of winter weather in the lowlands remains, but at this time do not see a major weather maker for notable snow accumulations in the works thru this forecast period.

National Weather Service (Seattle office) Area Forecast Discussion issued 9:10am, January 8, 2020.

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