Good morning. You have reached the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management Daily Briefing; today is Friday, February 7th and the time is 8:30 am.
The “Proclamation of Emergency” signed by the Whatcom County Executive concerning the storms and flooding that occurred last weekend remains in effect. Damage assessments, clean-up where possible, and repairs are being made as conditions allow.
An “After the Flood” public information meeting has been scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday, February 8th), from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM at the Nooksack Valley High School, 3326 East Badger Road, Everson, WA.
Advisories, Watches and Warnings:
A “Winter Storm Warning” is in effect from 4:00pm this afternoon through 10:00am tomorrow morning for areas above 3000 feet; 10-20 inches of snow are expected.
The National Weather Service has issued a “Special Weather Statement” for an increased risk of landslides today due to possible heavy rainfall and soil saturation.
The Avalanche Danger for the Cascade Mountains backcountry in Whatcom County is rated “considerable” through this evening.
Whatcom County Weather
Today’s rain will bring a close to this latest bout of storms. Temperatures will climb to the mid-40s today and lows tonight will drop to around 40 degree. Winds will be from the east/southeast around 15 mph or a little less. Tonight winds will be a little more gusty from the south with gusts reaching 20 mph or a little higher along the northern tier of the county. Tomorrow there will be a chance for showers early but then partly cloudy tomorrow night and mostly sunny on Sunday. Temperatures will still be mid-40s for highs but around 30 degrees for the lows so watch for frost or ice on roads and bridges. Higher elevations will be colder by about ten degrees for highs and lows.
The Nooksack River level will see a little spike out of this weather system but will remain well below the flood level. However, as rain continues to fall today, some small streams and water that drains into ponds and low areas will continue to cause problems with roads. Check the Public Works website for a current list of impacted roads. And remember, do not go around barriers or ignore detour signs. The only thing you will lose is a little time by taking a different route to your destination.
Coastal Weather for Whatcom County
For the Inland and Coastal Waters of Whatcom County, east winds of 5-15 knots will increase to 15-25 knots later with wind waves of two to four feet. Southwest winds tonight will increase to 20-30 knots with wind waves of three to five feet. And winds over the weekend could produce another Small Craft Advisory for tomorrow night.
Tides at Cherry Point for the next two days:
Here are a few emergency management reminders:
First, 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.
Second, 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.
Third, 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.
Fourth, 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.
Fifth, 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. Do not go around signs or barriers; they are there for your protection and going a different route will only cost you a little bit of time.
This briefing line is not updated on weekends unless an incident occurs.