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The original item was published from 12/9/2020 10:56:53 AM to 12/13/2020 12:00:03 AM.


Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: December 9, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Wednesday, December 9, 2020 Emergency Management Daily Briefing for Whatcom County

Showers diminishing over the day leading to cloudy skies tonight an mostly cloudy skies tomorrow. Temperatures in the mid-40s today and tomorrow with lows in the mid to lower 30s. Increase chance of rain on Friday into the weekend.

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 for our area.

Weather Around Whatcom County

Whatcom County Inland Weather

Today’s weather will still have a slight chance of some showers.  There will patchy fog this evening and then tomorrow will be mostly cloudy.  Winds will run be variable in direction over the next couple of days going from a southerly direction to a northerly direction to an easterly direction.  Wind velocity will remain less than 15 mph.  Friday will see the chance of rain again and we could see a few snow flakes mixed in with the rain. Temperatures will remain in the mid-40s for highs while lows will approach the freezing mark.   

Rivers and Streams

The weather systems that will pass through the area over the next week will cause the Nooksack River and some of the smaller streams to increase in flow and stream level.  At this time, there is no concern about flooding; however. if you are planning any activities on or near the river or smaller streams, be aware of how these passing weather systems could affect your plans. Conditions can change rapidly and without warning.

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

For the Strait and Inland Coastal Waters off Whatcom County today will see west winds from 10-20 knots changing to the southwest 5-15 knots.  Waves of one to three feet should be expected.  Tonight winds will be from the southeast at 5-15 knots causing waves of two feet or less. Tomorrow, northeast winds 10-20 knots will  result in one to three foot waves.





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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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