Ice Storm Warning issued: Freezing rain expected to continue through the evening (Friday)

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Freezing rain coats tree branches during ice storm (December 29, 2017). Photo: Discover Ferndale
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National Weather Service forecasters issued a Winter Weather Advisory this morning that was to be in effect until 6pm. This afternoon, they replaced the advisory with an Ice Storm Warning that continues to midnight tonight.

Since early this morning, almost a quarter-inch of rain has fallen while surface temperatures have been hovering around 32°. The result has been a build up of ice on outside surfaces including trees, roads and sidewalks. A north-northeast and more recently a north-northwest wind has kept temperatures at around freezing. Wind gusts between 15 and 20mph have been recorded by a weather station near Ferndale High School.

While the Ferndale area has been left relatively unaffected by the freezing rain event today, over 4,000 Puget Sound Energy customers in the Lynden and Sumas areas have lost power today. For many of the outages, PSE has not provided a cause but unsurprisingly those with a cause cited are blamed on trees/vegetation.

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Power outages are shown on this map of northern Whatcom County during freezing rain event as of 3pm on December 29, 2017. Courtesy of Puget Sound Energy

The current Ice Storm Warning is directed to the inland portions of Western Whatcom County north and northeast of Bellingham, specifically the Lynden, Sumas and Ferndale areas. It warns to expect freezing rain to continue into the evening hours. But it also says to expect a warmer west wind to arrive late this evening and with it overnight temperatures will rise above freezing.

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Forecasters warn, if venturing out later tonight, to be alert for ice falling out of trees and off buildings.

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