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.
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.
A Small Craft Advisory is in effect until 4:00am Tuesday morning for southeast winds 15-25 knots.
A Gale Watch is in effect from late tonight through Tuesday afternoon for southeast winds 25-35 knots. Environment Canada has already issued a Gale Warning. Southeast winds tonight of 15-25 knots will increase to 25-35 knots Tuesday morning.
As we enter the work week, look for wet conditions through Friday. We will not see a steady rain each day but, we can expect rain or showers to fall. Today’s highs will reach the mid 40s with showers and lighter winds. Tonight showers continue with wind from the south still in the 5-15 mph range. Lows will be around 40 degrees or a little lower. Tomorrow may be a few degrees warmer but rain will be steady after 10:00am and continue tomorrow night. Winds will increase from the south with gusts reaching the upper 20 mph range in the Blaine area and just over 30 mph from the north in Sumas area Lows will continue to be in the upper 30s or so.
The Nooksack River along with small streams will see a little bit of a spike beginning Wednesday and going into Thursday but levels will stay well below flood stage. Nevertheless, remain safety conscious and if you see water going over a road whether its from a river or small stream, turn around and find an alternate route.
For the Strait and Coastal Waters off Whatcom County, southeast winds 15-25 knots will cause two to four foot wind waves today. Increasing winds this evening will push wind waves up to four to six feet by tomorrow before beginning to drop back.
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.
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
December 15, 2020
December 16, 2020
December 17, 2020
December 18, 2020
December 19, 2020
December 30, 2020
December 31, 2020
January 01, 2021
January 02, 2021
January 03, 2021
January 04 & 05, 2021
0951 / 1021
January 12, 2021
January 13 & 14, 2021
0645 / 0722
January 15, 2020
January 16, 2021
January 29-February 01, 2021
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.