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The original item was published from 3/4/2021 9:39:23 AM to 3/10/2021 12:00:03 AM.


Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: March 4, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Thursday, March 4, 2021 Emergency Management Daily Briefing for Whatcom County

SR-20 remains closed at MP 120 in both directions. Weather system moves into the area to day with showers, rain, and warmer temps (50s). Wind gusts 20mph coastal areas, higher gusts in Pt Roberts. Same for tonight with higher gusts-25mph. Temps mid-40s.

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 

SR-20 remains closed in both directions at MP 120 due to a snow slide over the weekend. Washington State Department of Transportation crews are working to remove the debris and will reopen the highway as soon as possible. For timely updates follow Washington State Department of Transportation on Twitter or northcentral traffic alerts on the Washington State Department of Transportation website.
A “Small Craft Advisory” went into effect this morning at 6:00am and will remain in effect until 7:00pm Friday evening for southeast winds 20-30 knots. 
Environment Canada has issued a “Gale Warning” the Strait of Georgia-South of Nanaimo for today. Southeast winds 25-35 knots are expected this afternoon; the wind will drop off to 20-25 knots after midnight and then increase again tomorrow morning to 25-35 knots from the southeast.

Weather Around Whatcom County

Whatcom County Inland Weather

With temperatures predicted to reach the mid-50s, the thought of clear skies and light winds might have crossed our minds. That is not the case. Instead, increasing clouds with showers will develop and southeast winds will gust to around 20mph. More rain will fall tonight and the southeast winds gusting to 25 mph or more will continue; but temperatures will only drop to the mid-40s. For tomorrow, expect more rain and continuing southerly winds gusting to near 30mph with high temperatures around 50 degrees. Friday night will see more rain with the wind beginning to die down just a little; gusts will still be around 25 mph. Saturday could see a few stray showers lingering in the area with rain predicted for Saturday night and Sunday. Point Roberts, due to its jutting out into the Strait,  will see the wind gusts reaching 25mph today and then 35 mph tonight thru Friday night; temperatures will be about five degrees cooler as well.  Interior parts of the county will see less wind with gusts that may be around 20mph. Newhalem could see rain/snow mixtures beginning Saturday due its lower temperatures; no accumulations are expected.

Rivers and Streams

Predictions for all forks of the Nooksack continue to show that it will rise one to two feet from the rain over the next several days but that still leaves it will within its banks.  Look for the increased flow and rise in level to begin Friday and into Saturday. There will be no river flooding from this event; levels will remain well-below the banks. 
Also remember, some pooling could in low areas arod the county where culverts or drains are plugged or the ground is just too saturated. Driving into standing water at fast speeds can cause hydroplaning and loss of vehicle control.  

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

For the Strait and Inland Coastal Waters off Whatcom County, as expected the southeast winds 15-25 knots have arrived and will be with us into tomorrow. The wind is expected to increase to 20-30 knots tomorrow. Wind waves will be between two and five feet.



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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.

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

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