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The original item was published from 1/5/2022 1:26:17 PM to 1/13/2022 12:00:03 AM.


Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: January 5, 2022

[ARCHIVED] January 05, 2022 Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Winter Storm Warning for today. Expect snow to start sometime later this afternoon and continue into the evening hours switching over to rain sometime after midnight. There could be a brief period of freezing rain. High Temp 34. Low Temp 27.

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 REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 AM PST THURSDAY. Northeast winds 20 to 30 knots.  Impacted Area:  Northern Inland Waters Including The San Juan Islands.

WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 4 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 4 AM PST THURSDAY. Heavy snow expected with total snow accumulations of 2 to 6
inches. Impacted areas: Lowlands of western Whatcom County, including Point Roberts, Lummi Island, Bellingham, and Sumas.

COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 6 AM TO 11 AM PST THURSDAY. Minor coastal flooding expected for Western Whatcom County. Minor flooding, one to two feet above ground level, is possible around high tide. This may lead to flooding of lots, parks, and roads with only isolated road closures expected. Note: Winds are from the east/northeast.

TREE WELL ADVISORY FOR ANYONE TRAVELING INTO THE CASCADES. Tree wells are deep which can prevent someone from escaping and result in suffocation. Always travel in pairs and keep a wide distance from trees.

Environment Canada has issued a Winter Storm Warning.  Snow at times heavy and blowing snow beginning this evening. Amount 4-8 inches. Wind northeast 25 mph gusting to 37 mph. Temperature steady near27 degrees. Wind chill near12 degrees.   Snow and blowing snow changing to freezing rain in the morning. Snowfall amount 2 inches. Wind northeast 25 mph gusting to 31 mph.. High zero. Wind chill 14 degrees in the morning. 

Inland Weather

The national Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for Whatcom County as snow will begin later this afternoon and continue into into the evening.  Temperatures will be around 34 degrees in Bellingham dropping just a few degrees overnight.  Snowfall in Bellingham will be in the neighborhood or two to four inches.  Other parts of the county will see more snow. Sumas could see five to eight inches of snow as Environment Canada has predicted higher amounts for the Abbotsford area. Newhalem could see seven to eleven inches of snow overnight.  In addition to the snow, there could be a brief period of freezing rain. Winds will also increase from the east/northeast and you should expect blowing/drifting snow in places.  While the expected amount is not great (.10"), driving will become increasingly dangerous and some branches or wires may become downed due to the weight. Outside of Bellingham, temperatures will range in the mid 20s. After midnight, the snow will change over to rain in the lower areas of the county and temperatures will rise to a high of 44 degrees tomorrow in Bellingham and in the mid 30s or so in other places of the county.

Due to the additional snow and rain, the Northwest Avalanche Center has raised the avalanche risk to Very Dangerous to Possibly Extreme Avalanche Danger.

Rivers and Streams

That the moisture falling will be snow is a good thing as it will keep the Nooksack River running right about where it is.  There will be a little bit of a spike in the next couple of days from the rain, but not enough to raise any concerns.

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

Seas will gradually subside today, with Fraser  outflow  strengthening over the Northern Inland Waters and through  the  Strait. A warm front will arrive tonight into Thursday,  bringing  the next significant round of widespread rain and wind. Another  system Friday into the weekend. Seas will again rise  Thursday  through the end of the week.  Winds.  Today:  NE wind 15 to 25 kt rising to 20 to 30 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 3 to 5 ft. A chance of rain in the  afternoon.   Tonight:  E wind 20 to 30 kt. Wind waves 3 to 5 ft. Rain.  Tomorrow:  SE wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. Rain in the  morning then rain likely in the afternoon. Tomorrow Night: S wind 10 to 20 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 to 3 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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