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The original item was published from 11/30/2020 2:05:00 PM to 12/1/2020 12:00:04 AM.


Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: November 24, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Tuesday, November 24, 2020 Emergency Management Daily Briefing for Whatcom County

Some rain over the next couple of days in the lower areas with snow in the upper elevations. Thanksgiving Day looks to be mostly cloudy with moderate temperatures. Don't forget to place your Winter Safety kit in your vehicle.

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.

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.

Advisories, Watches and Warnings

A Gale Warning is in effect until 4:00pm this afternoon for southeast winds 25-35 knots.  Environment Canada has issued a Gale Warning as well for 25-35 nots winds.  
A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect from 4:00pm this afternoon to 10:00 am tomorrow morning above 3000 feet.  Snow is expected above 3000 feet with accumulations of 6 to 13 inches which would make very difficult.

Weather Around Whatcom County

Whatcom County Inland Weather

We’ll see increased chances for rain today with gusty southeast winds especially midday or early afternoon; winds will be strongest along the coast where there could be an occasional gust near 45mph.  Temperatures will climb to near 50 degrees before dropping back to around 40 for tonight; higher elevations will be about five degrees cooler.  We can expect rain showers to continue this evening with the National Weather Service saying there could be a stray thunderstorm.  There will still be a chance for some rain tomorrow but by tomorrow night we should just be mostly cloudy.  Tomorrows highs will be in the mid to upper 40s with lows again in the mid to upper 30s near 40 degrees.   Thanksgiving Day looks to be mostly cloudy with the sun breaking through every once in awhile.

Rivers and Streams

The Nooksack River along with small streams will rise a little beginning tomorrow but will hardly be noticeable. Still, remain safety conscious and should you see water running over a road whether its from a river or small stream, turn around and find an alternate route.

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

For the Strait and Inland Coastal Waters off Whatcom County, look for south winds 25-35 knots causing four to six-foot wind waves.  These winds will shift to the west and drop to 15-25 knots which could result in a “Small Craft Advisory” to be issued at some point.





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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:

Height of Tide
Time of King Tide 

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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