Winter Wonderland in Bellingham; puddles elsewhere

Winter Wonderland in Bellingham; puddles elsewhere »Play Video
Residents in the Bellingham/Whatcom area woke up to a winter wonderland Sunday morning after a winter storm brought several inches of snow to the area. (Photos: Facebook.com/KOMONews)
SEATTLE -- There are some advantages to living right next to what is essentially a direct pipeline to arctic air in central British Columbia. For Bellingham and its neighboring cities, on many days it means freezing in the teens or 20s while the rest of the region hits the 30s.

But in situations like Sunday, it means they get to play in a significant amount of snow while the rest of the snow fans across the region watch in jealousy.

As cold air spilled out of the Fraser River Valley, several inches of snow fell across Whatcom County with moderate amounts of snow reported in the San Juan Islands and eastern Skagit County.

Sumas was leading the way with 13" reported Sunday evening, with 11" reported in Ferndale, 10" in Deming and around 6-9 inches reported around Bellingham. And the snow wasn't done! A second warm front later Monday will run into that cold air that has become quite stubborn and provide another 3-5 inches of snow around western Whatcom County and 1-3 inches in the San Juan Islands. A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for Whatcom County until 4 p.m. while a Winter Weather Advisory was in effect for the San Juans.

It was enough for many schools in the snow zone to declare by Sunday they'd be closed or delayed for Monday classes. (See full list of school closures and delays)

But the winds were not strong enough to push the cold air much beyond those areas, and temperatures warmed rapidly as you headed further south and away from the Fraser winds. By the time you reached Skagit County, it was raining and lawns were green.

It was the same story across much of the rest of the region, where good old fashioned 40-45 degree marine air kept precipitation in the ultra-familiar rain and folks were left instead to ponder that Sunday marked the 16th consecutive day with rain.

Rain and snow had tapered off as the warm front passed and now we are left with scattered rain showers for the overnight hours. After a brief break Monday morning, steady rains were set to return in time for the afternoon commute, but warmer air will have covered the region by then and everyone will be in the snow.