Governor Inslee adjusted the indoor mask requirements yesterday (February 28th): "indoor mask requirements will be lifted as of 11:59 pm on March 11th." Masks will still be required in health care settings such as hospitals, outpatient and dental offices, long-term care settings, and correctional facilities. In addition, beginning March 1, vaccine verification for large events will no longer be required. Businesses and local governments can still choose to implement vaccination or face mask requirements for workers or customers, and school districts can still choose to have students and teachers wear masks. Federal law still requires face masks in certain settings such as public transportation and school buses. For additional information, see: https://www.governor.wa.gov/
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. https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/proclamations/21-18%20-%20Severe%20Weather%20Damage%20%28tmp%29.pdf
The Proclamation of Emergency for the November Flooding signed by the Whatcom County Exec remains in effect. Also, individuals affected by the flood have until March 7, 2022 to register with FEMA.
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. https://www.dhs.gov/news/2021/10/29/fact-sheet-guidance-travelers-enter-us-land-ports-entry-and-ferry-terminals.
Canada allows fully vaccinated Americans to visit Canada with these Canadian requirements: https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/gbi-rgf-eng.html.
ADVISORIES, WATCHES AND WARNINGS:
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO 1 PM PST WEDNESDAY for northeast winds 15-25 knots. LOCATTON: Northern Inland Waters Including The San Juan Islands.
SR 20 Both Directions. Single-lane closure via a temporary signal on SR 20 between MP 113.7 and 114. Also, SR-20 is closed for the season at MP 134/Ross Dam Trailhead on the west side of the Cascades and MP 178 Early Winters Campground on the east side of the Cascades.
Expect some northeast wind today; not so much in the lower part of Whatcom County but as you travel north towards Blaine or Sumas, gusts could be in the mid-20mph range. The same holds true for Point Roberts. And the wind will continue into tomorrow. There will be some clearing today with highs approaching 50 but with the northeast wind it will feel colder. Tonight will be mostly clear with temperatures dropping to below freezing, and in the case of Newhalem into the upper teens. Tomorrow will be mostly sunny across the county with highs about five degrees cooler than today. Lows will be about the same as tonight. On Thursday, we'll still see sun but as we get towards evening, more clouds will roll in and precipitation in the form or rain for lower areas and a rain/snow mixture will begin for higher elevations. Looking out further, there is a stronger weather system developing which could give a more significant amount of rain.
Rivers and Streams
Don't look for much of a change in the river level for the next week or so. The weather system on Thursday and on into the weekend is not very strong so little impact. There is a system in the Pacific that is about a week out that will drop a fair amount of precipitation which will cause the river and streams to rise. The impact will be refined as we get towards the end of this week.
Whatcom County Coastal Weather
A weak system will move through the area today. High pressure will rebuild Wednesday and remain over the waters into Friday. A strong system will arrive over the weekend. Winds. Today: N wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. A slight chance of rain in the morning. Tonight: N wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 3 to 5 ft. Tomorrow: NE wind 15 to 25 kt becoming N 10 to 20 kt in the afternoon. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. Tomorrow Night: N wind to 10 kt becoming SE 5 to 15 kt after midnight. Wind waves 1 to 2 ft.
NOTE: Although a "Small Craft Advisory" has not yet been issued for the tomorrow night, the predicted wind velocity does reach advisory levels. Watch for that to be issued in the near future.
Emergency Management Tips and Reminders
While we are starting to come out of winter, it's important to remember, the weather at lower elevations is not what you will experience at the 5000-6000' levels. Temperatures difference of 10-15 degrees or more can result in heavy rain in the lowlands and heavy snow in the upper elevations or crossing the passes. As we cross into April and May the chances for that continue to drop but a stray weather system can still result in hazardous driving conditions. With that in mind continue to be diligent. Things to be aware of:
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.