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The original item was published from 1/4/2022 9:54:43 AM to 1/12/2022 12:00:02 AM.


Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: January 4, 2022

[ARCHIVED] January 04, 2022 Emergency Management Daily Briefing

More winter weather is on the way. Expect increasing winds over the next 48 hours with Sumas once again getting hit with east/northeast winds from the Fraser Valley. Snow 3-5 inches expected tomorrow evening. Temps: Hi today-mid to upper 30s; low-20s.

Active Incidents

On August 18th, Governor Inslee ordered a statewide mask mandate.  Please see the Governor's website at the following URL:

COVID-19 - The “Proclamation of Emergency” signed by the Whatcom County Executive concerning COVID-19 remains in effect. 

Sever Weather Damage 21-18 Emergency Proclamation by the Governor:  Covers the severe wind and rainstorm event that began on November 12, 2021.


The United States has announced that fully vaccinated, non-citizen travelers with appropriate documentation will be permitted to enter the United States for non-essential travel via land Ports Of Entry and ferry terminals starting on November 8, 2021 and has released this fact sheet to assist those entering the United States.

Canada allows fully vaccinated Americans to visit Canada with these Canadian requirements:

Advisories, Watches and Warning

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 6 PM PST WEDNESDAY. Northeast winds 20 to 30 knots are anticipated. This is for the northern Inland Waters Including The San Juan Islands.

COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM PST THIS MORNING. Minor coastal flooding expected for Western Whatcom County. Flooding of lots, parks, and roads that are at sea level with only isolated road closures expected.

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 AM PST WEDNESDAY. This includes the Cascade mountains and valleys of Whatcom and Skagit
Counties, including the Mount Baker Ski Area. Additional snow accumulations of 6 to 15 inches.

WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM WEDNESDAY EVENING THROUGH LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT. Heavy snow possible. Total snow accumulations of 4 to 8inches possible. Plan on difficult travel conditions.

Environment Canada has issued a "Gale Warning" for the Strait of Georgia-South Nanaimo.  Wind southeast 20-30 knots except southeast 35 knots with gusts to 40 knots south of Tsawwassen.  Wind becoming south 15-25 knots early this morning then diminishing to south 5-15 knots early this evening .  Wind increasing to southeast 20-30 knots late this evening then diminishing to southeast 5-15 knots Tuesday evening.  

Inland Weather

Winter has set in and over the next day we will be dealing with rain, rain/snow, all snow, and blowing snow.  So, now is the time to plan ahead and make sure you're prepared for the ride.  The lower areas of Whatcom County will see mostly snow/rain mixtures for the day along with some wind from the west/northwest in the neighborhood of 10-15 mph with some gusts in the low 20 mph range. The foothills will likely see some accumulations of snow. As we move into the evening expect snow showers to continue with the northeast part of the county including Sumas and Everson/Nooksack seeing more wind develop out of the Fraser Valley with gusts getting near 30mph. Point Roberts will also see some east winds with gusts near 30 mph overnight. High temperatures for most everyone today will be in the mid to upper 30s; lows tonight will drop into the mid to upper 20s. Tomorrow will see cloudy skies in the west part of the county changing over to some rain/snow and then all snow precipitation while the foothills and higher will see all snow. The greatest chance for snow with accumulations of 3-5 inches in Bellingham with greater amounts possible in Point Roberts as well as Newhalem will occur late Wednesday and into Wednesday night.  With the gusty winds in the northern part of the county, travel could be difficult. Newhalem will see snow today with a possible 3-5 inches, tonight another one to two inches, a trace on Wednesday and then 7-11 inches Wednesday night and and another 5-9 inches of snow on Thursday.  Needless to say, if your vehicle is not up to the task in traveling in these conditions, please stay off the roads so WSDOT and our county public works are able to plow effectively making safer travel possible for all of us.

The Northwest Avalanche Center has issued a High Avalanche rating.  Backcountry avalanche Danger Rating 4 (High): Very Dangers avalanche conditions.  Travel in avalanche terrain NOT recommended.

Rivers and Streams

With the snow and colder temperatures, the Nooksack and smaller streams are all running low and slow. Remember that this water is extremely cold so if you are planning any activity around the river, having someone with you simply makes safe sense.

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

Post frontal showers will linger over the waters  today with winds and seas gradually decreasing. A warm front will  arrive late Wednesday into Thursday, bringing the next significant  round of widespread rain and wind. Seas will again rise Thursday  through the end of the week.  Winds.  Today:  S wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. Showers.  Tonight:  S wind to 10 kt becoming NE 15 to 25 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 ft or less building to 2 to 4 ft after  midnight. Showers likely in the evening then a chance of showers  after midnight.  Tomorrow:  NE wind 15 to 25 kt rising to 20 to 30 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 3 to 5 ft. A slight chance of snow showers  in the morning then a slight chance of rain in the afternoon. Tomorrow Night: E wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. 

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Emergency Management Tips and Reminders

Winter Travel

Winter travel can be extremely dangerous.  Cold temperatures, snow, ice are only a few of the hazards you can encounter when traveling in the the Winter.  Some of the things you should consider are as follows:

Have your car checked to make sure all parts are in good working order.  Tires should have good tread, all lights should be working, and windshield wipers should be changed if they do not provide a clean sweep of moisture on the windshield.

If there is snow on your vehicle, clean as much snow off your vehicle as possible.  Windows should be completely clean for maximum visibility.  Snow left on the hood of your vehicle can blow across your windshield and fog or cloud up inside due to the temperature change (another reason to clean all snow off your vehicle).  Headlights, brake lights, direction lights, etc. should all be clean again to make other drivers see you and know your intentions.

Make sure you have a Winter Safety Kit in you car that contains:  flashlight with extra batteries, cell phone and charger, extra blanket and clothes, high-energy food and water, games to keep children occupied, small shovel, sand or mat for traction if you encounter icy conditions, among other things deemed necessary.

If you are running your car to remain warm, remember to leave a window open to prevent a build-up of carbon monoxide.

Before leaving on a trip, call ahead and let someone know the time you are departing and your route of travel.  Likewise, upon arrival at your destination, let contact know you have arrived.


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.

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