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.
UPDATE: The U.S. side of the Canadian border will open to vaccinated Canadians starting in early November (https://www.dhs.gov/news/2021/10/12/secretary-mayorkas-allow-fully-vaccinated-travelers-canada-and-mexico-enter-us-land#), however until the official date is announced, the U.S. border remains closed to nonessential traffic. 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.
The National Weather Service has issued a "Flood Watch " from Thursday afternoon through Thursday night for Whatcom County due to moderate to heavy rain Wednesday through Thursday. Continue to monitor later forecasts and be alert for possible flood warnings.
Environment Canada has issued a "Strong Wind Warning" in effect for the Strait of Georgia-South of Nanaimo. Wind southeast 10-15 knots diminishing to light this afternoon then increasing to southeast 10-15 knots early this evening. Wind increasing to east 15-25 knots near midnight then becoming east 15-20 knots Thursday morning. Wind increasing to northwest 20-30 knots Thursday afternoon.
See the Washington State Department of Transportation website for intermittent lane closures on i-5 and SR-11 along Interstate 5 at milepost 250 near Old Fairhaven Parkway and along State Route 11 just west of I-5. This will go from October 20 through November 30.
While Bellingham is seeing a few rays of sun at the moment, that will changes as the day goes on and everyone will begin to see rain pushing into the area again. Temperatures will be in the mid-50s today and mid-40s tonight. There will be some wind that will set in across the northern part of the county. South/southwest winds will reach Pt Robert and Sumas today with Pt Roberts seeing gusts in the mid 20mph range. That will continue tonight. The rest of the county sill see lighter winds. Overnight, there will be periods of heavier rain in the foothills and higher elevations. Tomorrow, temperatures will be about the same and there will be some northeast switching to the northwest winds with the highest gust in Point Roberts tomorrow night-as high as 34mph. Nehalem could see2-3" of rain tomorrow and it appears there will be some southwest wind there as well with gusts to 25 mph. Now the good news, Friday is going to be a clearing day with partly sunny to sunny skies around the area. Saturday and Sunday are predicted to be sunny with highs in the mid 50s. Lows will drop into the upper 30s due to the clear skies.
NOTE. If you encounter downed wires, treat them as if they are live. Do not attempt to cross them; turn around and find an alternative route. For power outages, do not call 911; notify PSE.
Rivers and Streams
It is almost a certainty small streams and even the Nooksack River will be running near full bank levels over the next couple of days. The Northwest River Forecast Center shows the Nooksack River level ever so slightly topping the minor flood threshold. If you live in a low area, you'll want to take note of that and whether or not you have been impacted in the past by such a notice. If you live or travel where small streams easily flood, you'll want to pay close attention as they may do so tonight or tomorrow. And, if you have culverts or drains nearby that are clogged or plugged, water may start to collect and pool which can be hazardous if you drive into it at a rapid speed. Any heavy rain can cause ponding on the roads which could cause hydroplaning; it can also interfere with your visibility if your windshield wipers cannot keep up. Sound advice begins with slowing down and turning your lights on while driving to make sure other drivers see you. Make sure you use your signal to inform other drivers of your intentions to move left or right and increase the distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. Monitor the Whatcom County Public Works website for road closures or detours due to water on the road. And, plan now what an alternate route would be to get to and from your destination and the additional travel time required.
A frontal system will stall over the area Wednesday night with low level offshore flow over the weekend. Winds. Today: S wind 10-20 knots. Wind wavers 1-3'. A chance of rain. Tonight: SW wind 10-20 knots becoming SE after midnight. Wind waves 1-3'. A chance or rain in the evening then rain after midnight. Tomorrow: E wind 10-20 knots becoming SW 15-25 knots in the afternoon. wind waves 2-4'. Rain. Tomorrow Night: NW wind 15-25 knots. Wind waves 2-4'. Note. 15-25 knots winds usually result in a "Small Craft Advisory" being issued at some point. None has been issued yet, but...Monitor Marine weather to ensure you get the latest updates.
Emergency Management Tips and Reminders
While this is a great time of year, everyone needs to be prepared in the event they find that their planned weekend in the woods does not go the way they intended, and here are a few tips:
Back Country Medical Kit
You definitely need to carry a first aid kit, and for most people and most injuries the following is a good place to start when you are going out in the back country even for a day. There are lots of good sources on the Internet to find kits but the following list is primarily centered around patching cuts and cleaning wounds in an emergency:
Back Country Preparedness Kit
As with your first aid kit, there are lots of good sources on the Internet to find kits and the following suggestions are a good place to start, especially if you are going into the foothills and mountains in our area:
Both the medical and preparedness items listed here are considered to be the minimum a person should take with them. They are not intended to be the only things or to suggest that you do not need anything else. You can find good information locally at:
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.