Strong storm system enters the area tonight bringing strong wind and heavy rain tomorrow. Temperatures in the mid-60s today, lower 60s tomorrow. Lows in the low to mid-50s. One to two inches or rain expected, more in the higher elevations. Snow above 6K'.
On August 18th, Governor Inslee ordered a statewide mask mandate. Please see the Governor's website at the following URL: https://www.governor.wa.gov/
COVID-19 - The “Proclamation of Emergency” signed by the Whatcom County Executive concerning COVID-19 remains in effect.
The U.S. has extended an order closing the shared border to nonessential traffic until at least September 21, 2021. Canada allows fully vaccinated Americans to visit Canada however, there are several additional requirements you need to be aware of. See Canada Border Services Agency for additional requirements: https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/gbi-rgf-eng.html.
A "High Wind Advisory" is in effect from 5:00am to 8:00pm Friday (9/17/2021) for southeast winds 20-40 mph with gusts up to 60 mph expected. This includes Western Whatcom County.
A "Gale Warning" is in effect for the northern inland waters including the San Juan Islands from 5:00am to 5:00pm Friday for southeast winds 25-35 knots.
Environment Canada has issued a "Gale Warning". Wind light except northwest 10-15 knots near Vancouver Island. Wind becoming southeast 5-15 knots near noon then increasing to southeast 15-25 knots Friday morning. Wind increasing to southeast 30-40 knots Friday afternoon then diminishing to southwest winds 20-30 knots Friday evening.
**The Whatcom County Fire Marshal has issued an update to burn restrictions for unincorporated Whatcom County. Recreations fires are once again allowed (information - https://www.whatcomcounty.us/381/Fire-Marshal. You can call 360.778.5903.
Governor Inslee has issued an Emergency Proclamation titled "Wildfires-Burn Ban". This burn ban is good until noon on Thursday September 30, 2021." Additionally, national park service, US Forest Service, Department of Natural Resources, individual fire districts, etc. have their own set of rules which you must review and comply with.
State Route 9: Intermittent single lane closures continuing through the month of August and possibly into September just south of Acme. Expect some delays during this time. as crews continue to complete the project.
-Full 60-hour closure of SR 11 Old Fairhaven Parkway beginning 6:00pm Friday, September 17th until 6:00am Monday, September 20th to replace a concrete box culvert. See WSDOT website for additional information.
- Intermittent lane closures beginning week of September 20th from 6:00am to 6:00pm on SR-546 (East Badger Road just east of Northwood Road in Lynden) in preparation for culvert replacement beginning on September 27th. See WSDOT website for additional information.
- Full 60-hour closure and detour of SR 546/East Badger Road just east of Northwood Road in Lynden beginning September 27th through October 1st to replace a concrete box culvert. See WSDOT website (SR-546-Kamm Ditch Fish Passage) for additional information.
Today will be the last sunny day for a little while as a storm system is going to work its way into our area later this evening. The system is pretty potent and will bring substantial rain and wind to the area. Several warnings and advisories have already been issued by various weather services (NWS and Environment Canada). We expect temperatures to reach into the mid-60s yet today with the exception of Newhalem which will be borderline upper 50s and perhaps reaching 60. Tonight's lows will drop to the low to mid-50s. Newhalem will drop into the 40s. Throughout the night, clouuds will increase and we may see some showers beginning but the heavy stuff is supposed to hold off until tomorrow. Then, lower areas of the county can expect to see one to two inches of rain throughout the day with the foothills and higher elevations seeing that plus another one to two inches into the evening. Lower areas will continue to see rain but in lesser amounts. Highs tomorrow will struggle to stay in the 60s and lows will again drop into the 50s. Wind tomorrow will be a concern as trees still have a lot of leaves on them; so a great deal of swaying may occur with some branches breaking and causing sporadic power outages. Any preparations such as getting extra batteries for flashlights or other items should be accomplished today.
Rivers and Streams
Flows within the rivers and streams of Whatcom County are normal; expect them to continue to flow steady at current levels. We will see the rivers spike a few feet due to the rapid rainfall tomorrow. There will not be any flooding from the rivers, but small streams and low lying areas may become inundated if the culverts and drains cannot handle the load. If you do have a culvert or drain on your property and can ensure they are not obstructed, that would be a great help. Do not attempt to remove objects if there is flooding due to the rapid current that could be created by sudden clearing as you may not be able to escape the current. Also, if there are leaves covering a drain on or near your property, removing them will allow the water to drain effectively.
Do not attempt to drive or wade through water flowing over roads. The current is capable of moving large SUVs with only 6-8 inches of water flowing over the road. Find an alternate route.
A vigorous front will move through Western Washington on Friday. A trough will move through the waters over the weekend. Winds. Today: NW wind 10-20 knots becoming N 5-15 knots in the afternoon. Wind waves 1-3'. Tonight: NW wind to 10 knots becoming S after midnight. Wind waves 2' or less. A slight chance of rain in the evening then a chance or rain after midnight. Tomorrow: SE wind 25-35 knots. Wind waves 4-6'. Rain likely in the morning then rain in the afternoon. Tomorrow Night: S wind 15-25 knots. Wind waves 2-4'. Saturday: S wind 15-25 knots. Wind waves 2-4'. Based on the velocity of the winds, it appears we will have at least Small Craft Advisories with us through Saturday even though we current have only the Gale Warning for tomorrow. Make sure to monitor Marine Weather for additional notices.
Emergency Management Tips and Reminders
It is National Preparedness Month and now is the time to Build a Kit...
After an emergency, you may need to rely on yourself and your household or community for several days. It’s important to have supplies set aside and ready to use, including water, non-perishable food, medications, first aid kit, copies of important paperwork, and additional items.
When building a kit, make sure to have one wherever you spend much of the time (e.g. home, work, car). Don’t forget to consider the unique needs each person or pet may have, such as medications or medical equipment, in case you have to evacuate quickly.
A basic emergency supplies kit could include the following items:
Visit Ready.gov for a complete list of recommended emergency supplies.
Information concerning face coverings and other protective actions can be found on the Whatcom County Health Department Website.
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.