Good morning. You have reached the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management Daily Briefing Line. Today is Thursday, February 13th and the time is 9:30 am.
Information on the Corona Virus can be found on the Whatcom County Health Department website.
The “Proclamation of Emergency” signed by the Whatcom County Executive concerning the storms and flooding two weeks ago remains in effect. Damage assessments, clean-up where possible, and repairs are continuing as conditions allow; some roads still have standing water or debris on them.
Advisories, Watches and Warnings:
A “Small Craft Advisory” is in effect from 7:00am this morning through tomorrow morning at 10:00am for south winds of 15 – 25 knots.
A “Winter Weather Advisory” is in effect for the Cascades including the Mount Baker Ski Area from 10:00 am this morning until 10:00am tomorrow morning for possible 4-14 inches of snow above 2000 feet. Travel could be difficult during this time.
Whatcom County Weather
Rain in the lowlands and snow above 2000 feet with some gusty south winds thrown in is expected today just to remind us: It’s still winter! Temperatures won’t be bad – in the low to mid-40s for highs and mid to upper 30s for lows tonight- but the wind will make it feel colder. Winds will be from the south or southeast with gusts to 25 mph in the west and northern part of the county. This moisture will continue into the weekend although it won’t be quite as heavy; the ski area will see some pretty good snow again Friday night through Saturday night. Lower elevations will just see rain. The higher elevations will be about 10 degrees colder than lower elevations.
The trend continues to be lower for the Nooksack River with just a slight increase over the weekend. No flooding will occur, but ponding in the lower areas will continue and some small streams will run a little faster. The key thing to remember is do not go around “Road Closed” or “Detour” signs when you come upon them; turn around and find an alternative route. You only lose a few minutes by going a different route.
Coastal Weather for Whatcom County
For the Inland and Coastal Waters of Whatcom County, we’ll see winds from the south or southwest at 15-25 knots today with 2-4 foot wind waves. Tomorrow, the winds will shift to the west and drop to 10-20 knots. We could see some 15-25 knot winds again on Saturday so watch for another “Small Craft Advisory” to be issued.
For the tides, today was the last day of King Tides for awhile. Otherwise, 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.