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:
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.
We'll see a little bit of a mixture in today's weather. Some places such as Bellingham will have partly sunny skies today with increasing clouds tonight. Others such as Point Roberts and Newhalem will see the chance for showers. Temperatures will be around 50 degrees for the lowlands and 40 for Newhalem. Winds will be mostly from the south at 10 mph or less although Sumas will have a light northeast breeze. Tonight's lows will be around 40 degrees for most locations but Newhalem will be down around 30 degrees. Tomorrow we'll look for precipitation to increase and while most of us will see rain, Newhalem could see some light snow. The snow level will be around 2300' rising to 2900 feet during the day and then dropping back down in the evening. Highs tomorrow will again be around 50 degrees with lows tomorrow night about the same as tonight. The wind will increase in the Point Roberts area tomorrow with some gusts from the south near 20mph. Rain will continue through the weekend then with rain/snow mixtures in places like Maple Falls and Newhalem.
Rivers and Streams
Over the next five days we'll see the Nooksack River ebb and flow like a camel with two-humps. Neither situation poses any concerns for flooding. But, you should maintain awareness of low areas where water collects as it drains. We're likely to see those locations fill up once again. Also, small streams without much or a bank can spread out quite a bit.
Whatcom County Coastal Weather
Weak high pressure in place across the waters today before additional fronts move across the area Thursday and again late Friday. Winds. Today: S wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. A slight chance of showers in the afternoon. Tonight: SE wind to 10 kt rising to 5 to 15 kt after midnight. Wind waves 2 ft or less. A slight chance of rain after midnight. Tomorrow: SE wind 5 to 15 kt becoming 10 to 20 kt in the afternoon. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. Rain. Tomorrow Night: SE wind 5 to 15 kt becoming S 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.