Seattle area could see coldest temps in 33 years as brutal chill sweeps through region

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SEATTLE — A busy week of weather is closing out with freezing temperatures across Western Washington.

Friday morning’s low of 13 degrees was the coldest on Washington’s record since 1990. There was an afternoon high of 25 on Friday.

The dangerously low temperatures are even causing ski resorts to close. Officials with the Mount Baker Ski Area have announced that their slopes will be closed on Saturday as a result of the “arctic front temps.”

Early on Friday, wind chills were astounding in Whatcom County, likely the coldest the region has seen in decades. Bellingham had a low wind chill at 8 a.m. of minus-22 degrees with an air temperature of 3 degrees as winds gusted to 38 miles an hour.

Up the road in Sumas, the low wind chill plummeted to minus-39 degrees with air at minus-13 and 31-mile-an-hour winds.

Conditions will stay cold during the weekend, with a forecasted low of 13 degrees in Seattle on Saturday. That would be the coldest temperature the city has seen in 33 years.

Morning wind chills will be in the single digits for all of Puget Sound, but below zero nearer the Cascades from Pierce County northward, and in all of Whatcom and Skagit counties Friday night and into Saturday morning.

The wind picked up in the Cascade Foothills Friday night with gusts as high as 45 mph, which means dangerously cold weather and wind chill overnight and tomorrow.

A weather system late Saturday into Saturday night affecting Oregon with dangerous winter weather could spread some light snow into areas south of Puget Sound for a time, but the rest of the region will stay dry. It looks like the snow will stop mainly south of Chehalis, but we should keep an eye on Lewis and Thurston Counties on Saturday night.

Sunday will have morning lows in the teens to low 20s and highs near 30. If snow does accumulate, the coverage is expected to be light.

For the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday Monday, expect cold temperatures again with a mix of clouds and sun but highs breaking back above freezing for the first time in days. Beyond that, we might have to deal with some rain or wintry mix around Tuesday or Wednesday as temperatures moderate, eventually turning to just rain.