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The original item was published from 11/19/2020 8:48:18 AM to 11/23/2020 12:00:07 AM.


Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: November 19, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Thursday, November 19, 2020 Emergency Management Daily Briefing for Whatcom County

"Normal" fall weather is returning for the next few days and the first round of King Tides ends Friday morning, but more are coming ...

These Daily Briefings on Incidents, Advisories, Watches and Warnings, current weather and Emergency Management tips are published Monday through Friday, as well as during times of increased awareness or actual events.


  1. Active Incidents

The U.S. and Canada have extended an order closing their shared border to nonessential traffic until at least December 21, 2020. This includes both vehicular and boating between the countries.


The “Proclamation of Emergency” signed by the Whatcom County Executive concerning COVID-19 remains in effect. Information about Whatcom County’s response to COVID-19 is available at the Joint Information Center’s COVID-19 website

  1. Advisories, Watches and Warnings

Tidal / King Tide Coastal communities in Whatcom County have not scene, and should not see any tidal overflows through this week due to this 1st round of king tides.

  1. Weather Around Whatcom County

Whatcom County Inland Weather

The consistently active weather will decrease over the next couple of days with no long periods of rain expected. Conditions dry up Friday night into Saturday morning with only a couple spotty showers possible early on in the night. Saturday will be a dry day. The next weather disturbance will arrive onshore Sunday morning, leading to more active weather that day and into the middle of next week.

Rivers and Streams

The Nooksack River along with small streams should not experience any flooding, just high water, but conditions can change so if your route of travel takes you over or near streams, always be cautious.

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

For the Strait of Georgia and Coastal Waters of Whatcom County, Onshore flow will weaken today with lighter winds expected on the waters into Saturday as weak surface ridging gradually builds over the area. The next in a series of fronts is expected to arrive around Saturday evening with additional systems expected into early next week.





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  1. Emergency Management Tips and Reminders


Everyone in Washington State is directed to wear a face covering while at any indoor public space and any outdoor public space where you may be within 6 feet of someone who does not live with you. You can find more info about face coverings and other protective actions here and here.

King Tides

A King Tide is a non-scientific term people often use to describe exceptionally high tides. Tides are long-period waves that roll around the planet as the ocean is "pulled" back and forth by the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun as these bodies interact with the Earth in their monthly and yearly orbits. Higher than normal tides typically occur during a new or full moon and when the Moon is at its perigee, or during specific seasons around the country.

In Whatcom County we pay particular attention to King Tides that occur in the late fall / early winter as many times these coincide with, and can be aggravated by, our wind storms.  This has resulted in significant impacts in our coastal communities, such as occurred in Birch Bay and Blaine in December of 2018 when over 5 million dollars in damage was caused by a King Tide and wind storm.  We define a King Tide as a tide of at least 10.1 at Cherry Point (Whatcom Counties official tide station).  Over the next couple months, we will have King Tides on the following days:

December 14, 2020

10.1 Feet


December 15, 2020

10.6 Feet


December 16, 2020

10.8 Feet


December 17, 2020

10.7 Feet


December 18, 2020

10.6 Feet


December 19, 2020

10.3 Feet


December 30, 2020

10.1 Feet


December 31, 2020

10.2 Feet


January 01, 2021

10.3 Feet


January 02, 2021

10.3 Feet


January 03, 2021

10.2 Feet


January 04 & 05, 2021

10.1 Feet

0951 / 1021

January 12, 2021

10.4 Feet


January 13 & 14, 2021

10.6 Feet

0645 / 0722

January 15, 2020

10.5 Feet


January 16, 2021

10.2 Feet


January 29-February 01, 2021

10.1 Feet

0706 / 0733 / 0800 / 0827

For those who are tide watchers, these are pretty impressive tides but as happened in the 2018 storm, the tides were pushed nearly two feet higher from the storm pressure (called storm surge) and then the west wind added another 3-4 feet of waves.

This briefing line is not updated on weekends unless an incident occurs.

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