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.
Advisories, Watches and Warnings
A “Small Craft Advisory” is now in effect from 9:00pm tonight until midnight. Southwest winds 15-25 knots are expected.
The small craft advisory ending at midnight will be immediately followed by a “Gale Warning” which will be in effect from midnight to noon on Tuesday. Southeast winds 30-40 knots are expected.
Environment Canada has a “Gale Warning” in effect this evening for southeast winds 25-35 knots for the Strait of Georgia-South of Nanaimo.
Weather Around Whatcom County
Whatcom County Inland Weather
For Whatcom County weather, you will definitely be able to count on a wet work week as there is a chance of rain every day. Along with the rain, there will be increasing wind beginning later today and through tomorrow. There could be gusts 25-30 mph tomorrow. The positive side is temperatures will remain in the mid-40s for highs and lows will remain in the upper 30s to low 40s for the next couple of days. Watch for water pooling on roads which can cause hydroplaning and loss of vehicle control.
Rivers and Streams
The Nooksack River will see a couple of little spikes over the next five days followed by a larger spike headed into the weekend. Currently, no flooding is expected from any one of these spikes. However, locally heavier rain will effect some small streams more than others and cause water to run over the road. If you encounter such a situation, turn around and find an alternate route. Water flowing over roads, can move vehicles as large as SUVs.
Whatcom County Coastal Weather
For the Strait and Inland Coastal Waters off Whatcom County we’re going to see several weather systems over the next few days cause advisories and warnings. Today south winds at 10 knots will give way to 15-25 knots this evening and 30 to 40 knots after midnights. One foot waves early will increase to five to seven foot waves after midnight. Tomorrow waves will drop to four to six feet but it will be night before they drop back to two feet or less.
|December 14, 2020||1050||7.2|
|December 14, 2020||1517||9.34|
|December 14, 2020||2258||-2.94|
|December 15, 2020||0652||10.59|
|December 15, 2020||1151||7.4|
|December 15, 2020||1557||9.04|
|December 15, 2020||2340||-2.90|
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.
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
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.