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The original item was published from 2/24/2021 12:53:30 PM to 3/2/2021 12:00:03 AM.


Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: February 24, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Wednesday, February 24, 2021 Emergency Management Daily Briefing for Whatcom County

Winter Storm Watch, Gale Watch, and Wind Advisory for Whatcom County. The next weather system will arrive later bringing wind, rain, and snow to higher elevations. Temps: mid-40s daytime and mid-30s at night. Higher elevations will be 5-10 degrees colder

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 February 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 “Gale Watch” is in effect from 10:00pm this evening until 1:00pm tomorrow afternoon.  South winds 30-40 knots are possible.
A “Winter Storm Watch” is in effect from 10:00pm through Friday evening above 2000 feet.  Heavy snow is possible with accumulations of 18-30 inches at the passes.  Winds could gust as high as 40mph.
A “Wind Advisory” is in effect from 1:00 am to 10:00 am Thursday morning the coastal areas including Bellingham and Point Roberts for south winds 25-35 mph with gusts to 55mph expected.
SR-20 will be evaluated this morning to see if it can be opened to the public from Newhalem east.  It was closed due to a snow slide and open to local and emergency traffic only as of yesterday.  Check WSDOT for updates before traveling to the area.

Weather Around Whatcom County

Whatcom County Inland Weather

The next weather system that will enter our area tonight will bring about rain, wind and snow.  Temperatures will remain steady in the mid-40s for highs and mid-30s for lows in the lower areas of Whatcom County. Higher elevations will be five to ten degrees colder. There will be significant wind from the south/southeast tonight and tomorrow with gusts that could get up to 55mph, especially coming off the open water. Then, while many of us are dealing with rain in the lower areas of the county, Maple Falls will see rain/snow mixtures while Newhalem can expect rain/snow mixtures as well as all snow.  And higher elevations are in for a dumping with 18-30 inches in the passes.  Friday also looks to be wet and the winter storm watch will continue into the evening. Winds will be die down later tomorrow night into Friday.

Rivers and Streams

All forks of the Nooksack continue to drop and even though we’ll pick up some good moisture out of this next system, it will only cause a slight river level rise which will not cause any problems.  

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

For the Strait and Inland Coastal Waters off Whatcom County look for east winds today at 10 knots of less. Tonight, southeast wind will increase to 25-35 knots after midnight pushing wind waves to four to six feet.  Tomorrow south wind at 30-40 knots will change to the southwest in the afternoon and drop to 15-25 knots. West winds will continue at 20-30 knots on Thursday night causing three to five foot waves. Friday will continue to see Small Craft Advisory Winds. Monitor marine weather for changes.



February 24, 2021
February 24, 2021
February 25, 2021
February 25, 2021
February 25, 2021
February 25, 2021
February 26, 2021

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.

This briefing line is not updated on weekends unless an incident occurs.

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