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:
WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 5 AM PDT WEDNESDAY ABOVE 4000 FEET; total snow accumulations of 5-19 inches of new snow possible. WHERE: Cascade mountains of Whatcom and Skagit Counties, including the Mount Baker Ski Area
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.
Showers will be around today with the possibility of a pop-up thunderstorm. Temperatures will climb to near 50 degrees in most places except Newhalem where it will only get up to about 40 degrees. There will also be some southerly winds especially in the northern part of the county; Point Roberts could see gusts to 20-25 mph today and tonight. Other locations will see southerly winds but not as strong. Temperatures tonight will drop to around 40 degrees except Newhalem once again where it will drop to around 33 degrees. There is a possibility of a thunderstorm early in the evening and then showers off and on. Expect tomorrow to be about the same as today but the wind will be much less. For those individuals traveling, a winter weather advisory remains in effedt until early tomorrow morning above 4000'. Check WSDOT for road conditions and pass closures before traveling. Looking into the future, showers and rain will continue into the weekend.
Rivers and Streams
Expect the Nooksack River level to rise over the next few days due to the rain. There will not be any flooding per current forecasts but we should expect drainage from the rain to fill the low spots and depressions and there could be puddling on roads making hydroplaning a possibility. Give yourself extra time if you're traveling, just in case.
Whatcom County Coastal Weather
A frontal system will move through the waters this morning. Additional fronts will arrive Thursday and late Friday. Winds. Today: SW wind 10 to 20 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. A chance of rain in the morning then showers likely and a slight chance of tstms in the afternoon. Tonight: SW wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. Showers likely and a slight chance of tstms in the evening then a chance of rain after midnight. Tomorrow: S wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. A chance of rain. Tomorrow Night: SE wind to 10 kt rising to 5 to 15 kt after midnight. Wind waves 2 ft or less.
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.