Five thousand PSE customers remain without power down from ten thousand yesterday. Partly sunny today with more clouds and some rain after midnight. Highs today and tomorrow, around 50 degrees; lows near 40. Variable wind tonight with gust near 25 mph.
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.
PSE has made significant progress on restoring power to customers up and down the Puget Sound area. Yesterday around 300K customers were without power and right now the number is slightly less than 65K customers remaining without power. Here in Whatcom County, the number without power is around 5K. Depending on where you live, it could be another couple of days before power is back on. A number of trees were felled by the wind that brought down lines and, in some cases poles as well.
Train Derailment Update. Incident Number 20-4465 has been assigned to this event.
The U.S. and Canada have extended an order closing their shared border to nonessential traffic until at least January 21, 2021. 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 in effect until 2:00pm this afternoon for west winds 15-25 knots. Environment Canada is looking for westerly winds 20-30 knots dropping to 5-15 knots this afternoon.
A “Small Craft Advisory” is in effect from.7:00pm evening until 4:00am Friday morning for southeast winds 15-25 knots..
The National Weather Service has issued a “Special Weather Statement” for increased threat of landslides in Western Washington through Wednesday.
Whatcom County Inland Weather
We should see partly sunny skies today with temperatures near 50 degrees. Wind will be from a north/northwest direction with the strongest gusts around 20-25 mph in the Blaine and Sumas areas. The rest of the county will see wind in the 10-15 mph range. Increasing clouds tonight will give was to some rain and lows will drop down to around 40 degrees. Winds will switch to the southeast. Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy as will tomorrow night with highs once again in the upper 40s and lows dropping slightly below 40 degrees. Saturday will be mostly cloudy as well with highs in the 40s and lows in the mid-30s. Newhalem will be about 10 degrees colder both day and night. Rain returns Saturday night and Sunday.
The Nooksack River is dropping at almost leveled off at Saxon and Cedarville sites. It has a little ways to go at the Ferndale gauge. There are no significant storms on the horizon, so we should see level flows for thenext week or so.
For the Strait and Inland Coastal Waters off Whatcom County east winds 10-20 knots today will switch to southeast winds at 15-25 knots tonight along with wind waves going from 1-3 feet to 2-4 feet. Tomorrow, winds will shift to the northwest and drop to 10 knots in the afternoon.
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:
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.