Good morning. You have reached the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management Daily Briefing Line. Today is Friday, February 14th and the time is 9:15 am.
The official term now being used to describe the novel coronavirus is "COVID-19". Information on the "COVID-19” 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 until 10:00 am this morning for southwest winds 15-25 knots.
A “Winter Weather Advisory” is in effect for the Cascades above 2000 feet until 10:00 am this morning. An additional 1-6 inches of snow are possible.
A “Winter Storm Watch” is in effect form late tonight through late Saturday night above 2000 feet for another 8-18 inches of snow making travel conditions difficult.
Whatcom County Weather
The weather for today brings with it another chance for rain which could linger into Sunday. The wind will pick also later today with gusts tonight and tomorrow reaching 20-23 mph along the coast with lighter winds in the interior part of the county; the exception is the ski area which will see some stronger gusts. Temperatures continue to reach the mid-40s for highs and mid-30s for lows. Upper elevations will be 10-15 degrees cooler both day and night. Rain will change over to snow before you get to the 2000 foot level so be prepared for changing driving conditions.
The Nooksack River level continues to trend lower for the next five days. No flooding will occur, but the rain could lead to additional ponding in the lower areas and some small streams will run a little faster. A number of roads in Whatcom County still have impacts from the previous storms; please see the Public Works website on road closures for those affected. A key thing to remember is do not go around “Road Closed” or “Detour” signs when you come upon them; turn around and find an alternate 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, winds will continue to go in and out of Small Craft Advisory levels over the next several days so be vigilant in checking Marine weather. Tonight winds will be from the south at 15-25 knots, increase to 20-30 knots tomorrow and then drop down on Sunday to 10-20 knots form the southwest before increasing again to 15-25 knots form the northeast.
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.