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The original item was published from 12/2/2020 8:56:26 AM to 12/9/2020 12:00:04 AM.


Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: December 2, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Wednesday, December 2, 2020 Emergency Management Daily Briefing for Whatcom County

The weather has dialed up two sunny and relatively windless days for us over the next two days. Highs in the mid to upper 40s and lows in the low to mid-30s.

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

There are no advisories, watches or warnings that have been issued for our area.

Weather Around Whatcom County

Whatcom County Inland Weather

Today is going to be another nice sunny day although there will some dense patches of fog around the area this morning.  The fog will clear off a little later and we will see temperatures near 50 degrees; winds will be under 10 mph and variable. Tonight, expect lows to drop down to the low to mid 30s and mostly clear skies which means there is likely to be frost in some areas. That could pose some driving issues.  Tomorrow will be partly sunny with highs again near 50 degrees with light winds.  Tomorrow night will be a repeat of tonight meaning low to mid 30s, possibility of frost and partly cloudy skies.

Rivers and Streams

There are no changes to the slowly leveling off of the Nooksack River.  We can expect current levels to remain about the same until next week when a weather system may drop enough rain to raise the level a little.

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

For the Strait and Inland Coastal Waters off Whatcom County, northeast winds will be in the 5-15 knot range with wind waves of around two feet.  East winds tonight will increase to 10-20 knots and cause wind waves to increase to one to three feet. Wind direction will switch to the southeast tomorrow again in the 5-15 knot range.





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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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