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The original item was published from 1/29/2020 8:43:50 AM to 2/1/2020 12:00:05 PM.

News Flash

Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: January 29, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Tuesday, January 29, 2020 Daily Briefing

Advisories, Watches and Warnings:

  1. Small Craft Advisory has been issued for our coastal waters through today.
  2. Special Weather Statement for increased threat of landslides was issued for Whatcom County.
  3. While no Flood Watch or Warning has been issued by the National Weather Service, it is likely we will experience flooding over the coming days and people along the Nooksack, its tributaries, and other streams, as well as low lying areas prone to flooding, should consider preparedness actions.

Whatcom County Weather:

Whatcom County weather will be wet for the remainder of the week with rain in the lower areas of the county and a mixture of snow or rain and snow in the higher elevations. Snow levels will rise to six or seven thousand feet later this week. Combined with the rain, we will see increased melting and rising river levels. Temperatures will continue to reach the mid-40s for highs and even 50 by Friday from Maple Falls west to the coastline. Lows will not drop much at night and stay in the 40s. Higher elevations will be cooler but even the ski resort area will see 40 degrees for the high on Friday.

Saturated soils will keep the risk of landslides elevated.The Northwest Avalanche Center continues to show the Cascades of Whatcom County have a “Considerable” avalanche danger. More information is available at their website (

With regards to the Nooksack River, it’s important to keep an eye on all forks of the river as we head towards Friday. The rain coupled with snow melt will result in small streams and all forks of the river to rise substantially. There are no flood watches or advisories issued yet, but pay close attention the next few days for updates on river level changes.  You can see the Forecasts & Current River Conditions here or by visiting the Whatcom County Public Works River and Flood website.

Coastal Weather for Whatcom County:

For the Inland Coastal Waters including those of Whatcom County, winds will drop to 5-15 knots from the southeast later today accompanied by one to three foot wind waves. Tonight they are projected to increase to 15-25 knots along with wind waves of two to four feet. These winds are expected to carry into tomorrow. There is no “Small Craft Advisory” issued yet, but it is likely one will be issued later today if the forecast holds.

Tides at Cherry Point 





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Here are a few emergency management reminders:

  1. Don’t drive through water flowing over roads. It only take three to six inches of fast moving water to knock you off your feet and another few inches to move vehicles as large as SUVs.
  2. Put your Winter Safety Kit in your vehicle if you haven’t done so already. Check the Washington State Department of Transportation website for a list of items to have in your kit.
  3. Watch for ice and slush on the roadways especially where the temperature drops below the freezing level. And don’t forget, shaded caused by overhanging trees, mountains, or even buildings can shield the sun from thawing the frost and you could go from a dry area to patches of frost which could cause a loss of traction or vehicle control. Elevation will also make a difference as to where the freezing level is so keep alert.
  4. Watch for packed snow or patches of packed snow if you are headed to the ski area or crossing the Cascades over the next couple of days. Slush or snow building up under your vehicle tires can cause your vehicle to ride on top of an unstable surface and can lead to loss of traction and vehicle control.
  5. Keep an eye on the avalanche notifications and tree well warning. You can find information about both on the Mount Baker Ski Area Website Home Page.

Thank you for calling the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management Incident hotline. Have a great day and if you’re traveling, drive safe.

Remember, think safety and be prepared! 

The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management Daily Briefing is issued Monday through Friday during normal operations.  During Incidents this Daily Briefing is updated as appropriate 24/7.

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