Tag Archives: Bellingham

Bellingham holding steady

The forecast outlets that had the best time putting together an effective forecast for Bellingham were the ones that anticipated not only the effects of Puget Sound, but also the Cascades’ role in keeping clouds overhead in the morning. Temperatures were decresingly variable as time went on, and while the two days weren’t wildly different, Sunday’s high and low suggested the increasing clouds had an impact. Victoria-Weather did the best job planning for that increase in clouds, and ended up with the victory in northwest Washington.
Actuals: Saturday – High 71, Low 46
Sunday – High 69, Low 52

Grade: A

Bellingham, Washington

We’re off to the northwesternmost city in the contiguous 48 states. Bellingham, Washington is the destination for the weekend forecast.

At 353PM, PT, Bellingham was reporting a temperature of 66 degrees with clear skies. There is an upper level trough moving through the area, but most of the moisture associated with the system is aloft, and as a result, coastal areas along Puget Sound are clear this evening, while showers and storms are being seen inland.
As the trough rotates inland, expect the evening clear period seen today, and which will be seen tomorrow, become laced with some low clouds that will last through the day becoming more likely. Even so, expect moisture to remain elevated and a precipitation problem only for the Cascades.
Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 69, Low 46
Sunday – Partly cloudy, High 69 Low 50

TWC: Tomorrow – Mostly Sunny High 72, Low 48
Sunday – Sunny High 72, Low 51

AW: Tomorrow – Partly sunny High 71, Low 45
Sunday – Partly sunny High 70, Low 49

NWS: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 69, Low 47
Sunday – Mostly sunny, High 59, low 49

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 68, Low 50
Sunday – Mostly sunny, High 70, Low 52

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 66, Low 46
Sunday – Mostly sunny, High 68, Low 50

The satellite shows just how clear it is around Puget Sound. Not what you typically expect, if stereotypes are to be believed.

Don’t forget the Northwest

An area of low pressure in the Gulf of Alaska has slammed the west coast for days and days, with flooding rain being seen north of San Francisco. That system, like I said, was over the GUlf of Alaska, which meant that Washington and Oregon were affected as well. Our forecast in Bellingham reflected that. More rain fell towards Seattle, but Bellingham saw over a tenth of an inch of rain in the past two days. The top forecast belonged to Weatherbug who was spot on with the low temperature spread given the thick clouds across the region, particularly on Wednesday.
Actuals: Tuesday – .12 inches of rain, High 53, Low 44
Wednesday – .01 inches of rain, High 46, Low 43

Grade: A

Lansing, Michigan to Bellingham, Washington

We are on our way west again. These always seem like the longest trips, and again, this trip will be 4 1/2 days covering about 2350 miles. We will move slowly through the Chicago area but move quickly through the Plains, which will result in an average speed of 66.1 miles per hour. The days will be through after 529 miles(though obviously after a shorter drive on Saturday)


A cold front (if you can call it that) will be sliding through the upper Midwest, creating some shower activity throughout southern Michigan. The front hasn’t held together well at all, so the activity portends to be fairly hit or miss. We will be in and out of these rain showers all the way through Chicago, and as we take a turn to the north, life will get a little bit easier. The drive through Wisconsin should be easy, and our day will end in Lewiston, Minnesota, which is east of Rochester.

The passage of a system moving through Canada will continue to draw warm air north, and our trip through southern Minnesota and South Dakota will be sweetly warm. In December. Which is strange. We will end the day in the Buffalo National Grassland.

Yet another round of low pressure will eject from the broader system in the Gulf of Alaska and Pacific Northwest on Thursday. A loosely organized cold front will generate some showers in western South Dakota and across portions of northern Wyoming. The best chance to break out of the drear will be in southeastern Montana, but as we approach the Rockies, we can also expect some snow falling in the higher elevations around Bozeman. It’s not going to be a blizzard or anything crazy like that, but in the exposed, empty quarters of the High Plains, those cloudy, snowy skies will make things seem awfully lonely. The day, like I mentioned, will end in Bozeman.

Friday is going to be a fairly nasty day for driving. It’s going to be an uncomfortable mix of rain and mountain snow across the Montana Rockies, Idaho Chimney and eastern Washington. Most of Washington will be rain, and most of Montana that we are in, anyways, will be snow. Idaho? Wild card. We should get into George, Washington, in the rain.

One last day, and things are expected to clear out in Washington, albeit only a bit. We will leave George dry, and likely won’t see any rain for the few hours to Bellingham, however when we descend towards Seattle, it will be into clouds, and probably a little bit of of fog, all of which will stay with us into Bellingham.

Bellingham, Washington

The most northwestern city we forecast for in the contiguous United States is Bellingham, and our forecast point for today. (Government sites are down. What a mess)

At 853AM, PT, Bellingham was reporting a temperature of 44 degrees with mostly cloudy skies. Some denser clouds were seen south of Bellingham towards Seattle, as southerly wind indicated some warming temperatures for the region, but also it’s position on the east side of a perpetual area of broad low pressure in the Gulf of Alaska.
The next round of heavy rain and mountain snow will move into the area tonight and last through the early morning tomorrow as a cold front moves ashore. After the front moves in, a west wind off the Pacific will continue to push moisture inland, and clouds and at least some drizzle will continue in town right on through the day on Wednesday. Another weak trough will begin to push into the Strait of Juan de Fuca late on Wednesday.
Tomorrow – Rain likely, heavy early, High 49, Low 42
Wednesday – Rain continues, but lighter, High 43, Low 38 (non standard)

TWC: Tomorrow – Rain / Wind High 52, Low 46
Wednesday – Showers high 45, Low 42

AW: Tomorrow – Breezy with periods of rain High 52, Low 43
Wednesday – Mostly cloudy with a couple of showers, mainly early in the day High 44, Low 39


WB: Windy. Rain…then rain showers in the afternoon. High 53, Low 44
Wednesday – Breezy. Showers likely…then mostly cloudy with a chance of showers in the afternoon High 46, Low 41

Someone broke the Weather service, so you don’t get a forecast from them, I didn’t use the typical model data, and you get a satellite from Unisys. Yay tax dollars!

Incrementally cooler

Before I get to the verification for Bellingham, i wanted to let you all know that there is a new Victoria Weather twitter feed, in conjunction with the Victoria Times, @victoriawxtimes. OK, let’s talk about Bellingham. A cold front pushed ashore on Wednesday (remember this forecast came on Tuesday… the verification is a day late because of yesterday’ Off the Grid) and that front brought winds gusting to nearly 50mph. The next day, Thursday, the rain came. All told, Vancouver Island protected Bellingham from the heaviest rains, but there was still about a half inch of rain over the two days. The wind also brough some cooler temperatures, and it started snowing there last night. Of course, that wasn’t in the forecast period, so it’s not our problem! Accuweather had a commendable forecast, given how tricky weather in the undulating elevation can be, and took the top spot.

Actuals: Wednesday – .13in of rain, High 48, Low 39
Thursday – .36in of rain, High 44, Low 35

Grade: A

Bellingham, Washington to Lafayette, Indiana

This one is going to be lengthy, my friends. There is a lot of ground to cover between Bellingham and Lafayette. It will be a 4 day trip that covers 2258 miles. The first three days will cover 531 miles, leaving the rest for Sunday. The extensive time spent on western interstates will mean a speed of 66.4mph, allowing such a high daily total for our drive. That’s out of the way, let’s get forecastin’.


Unfortunately for our purposes an area of low pressure is diving from the Gulf of Alaska into the Pacific Northwest. There is an honest to goodness cold front associated with this which will mean some more consistent wind flow than there usually is with the Pacific Northwest confused jumble that we have all grown to expect. That said, it will rain almost entirely through the day tomorrow. The heaviest will be along the coast to Seattle, then east towards the Cascades. After we start making our way uphill towards the Snoqualmie Pass, all that rain will turn to a sticky, wet snow that will really slow things down. I hope you have snow tires. It will continue until we get to the top of the climb and start winding back downhill when, suddenly, things will clear out. They will last from the leeward slope of the Cascades until about Spokane, when the dreary skies will probably start spitting some drizzle again. The end of the day will be in Big Pine fishing area in Montana northwest of Missoula. Bring a tent.

That system will continue to follow us into the expanse that is Montana. We will be ducking the snow most of the day, and the precipitation we see will definitely be snow, until we start coming out of the mountains around Butte. From Butte to Bozeman the snow will likely be at it’s fluffiest, with some rain possibly mixing in from Bozman to near Billings. We will get out ahead of the wintry mix eventually to Eplie, which is in the rural southeastern Prairie. No way of knowing if they actually have services there. Bring a tent.

The flurry activity will remain with us when we wake up on Saturday morning. The good news is that, when the system sets itself up on the lee side of the northern Rockies, it’s going to slow down. A warm front will set itself up through North Dakota, or the Dakota we will not be in. Hooray! This means we’ll be able to enjoy sunny skies and seasonably warm temperatures as we make our way to Luverne in the very southwestern corner of Minnesota. It doesn’t come along very often that we end a day in Minnesota. How exciting. And I’m almost certain that we can stash the tent in Luverne.

It’s going to be a long drive to get from Minnesota to Lafayette. I used to make this drive when I was in school though (I went to Purdue, for those that have never checked the about us page), so it can be done. Once again the storm system will catch up to us while we sleep. In this case, however, temperatures will be warm enough aloft and at the surface that we will see only light rain and fog with the system. It’s going to be a Sunday as well, so traffic in the Chicago area will be slowed but not impassable as we reach that last interminable bit of driving. Trust me, the drive from Chicago to Lafayette is tough. It’s not a difficult drive objectively, but after spending 9 hours in the car in crummy weather already, it’s not so much fun. Anyways, maybe some drizzle in Lafayette.

Bellingham, Washington

This is about as far to the northwest as one can go and remain in the continental US. Bellingham is closer to Vancouver than Seattle.

AT 653AM, PT, Bellingham was reporting cloudy skies with a temperature of 50 degrees. Temperatures were buoyed overnight by the deck of clouds spanning the Puget Sound area, preventing any of the surface warmth from escaping. Drizzle was being reported across the area, particularly across the Sound on the Olympic Peninsula, and in the Cascades near Mount Baker.
A mess of low pressure over the northern Rockies has generated widespread mountain snow and valley rain for the northwestern quarter of the US. The jet is strong and undulating through the Gulf of Alaska. The jet will track over the Bellingham area even as the low over Montana shifts east, meaning moisture will continue to stream off the Pacific and into the area. By tomorrow evening, another strong system riding the jet will send it’s cold front slamming into western Washington. Heavy rain, gusty winds and fog will continue into Thursday as the low follows a similar track towards northern Montana. The strongest winds will come with the low itself, when it arrives on Thursday evening.
Tomorrow – Heavy rain and wind, High 47, Low 41
Thursday – Rain, with wind picking up, High 44, Low 38

TWC: Tomorrow – Windy with rain likely High 46, Low 42
Thursday – Rain, High 45, Low 37

AW: Tomorrow – Breezy with rain High 47, Low 39
Thursday – Rain (snow late) High 43, Low 34

NWS: Tomorrow – Rain. High 47, Low 40
Thursday – Rain High 44, Low 37

WB: Tomorrow – Windy, rain. High 47, Low 42
Thursday – Rain Likely, High 44, Low 37

Looks like a particularly nasty couple of days for northwestern Washington. The NWS’s lows were non standard, and oh yeah, here is the radar.