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 continues to make incremental changes as they lift restrictions as they relate to COVID border crossing restrictions. See https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/gbi-rgf-eng.html for additional information.
ADVISORIES, WATCHES AND WARNINGS:
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON for SE winds 15-25 knots causing 2-4' wind waves.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.
Rain has returned and we can expect it to continue through the weekend as we have several weather systems that will pass through the area over the next week or so. There will not be an extreme conditions with these systems. Mainly we'll see temperatures around the 50 degree mark with some southeast winds with gusts to 20 -25 mph along the coast but much less inland. Lows will dtop down to around 40 degrees. The exception to this is the higher elevations where temperatures will be 10 degrees cooler. That means there is likely to be some fairly decent snows occurring above the 2500' level. The snow level will rise and fall with the temperatures so if you're traveling to the ski area or elevation above 2500' watch for accumulations to develop on the roads and cause winter driving conditions.
Rivers and Streams
Several storm systems will pass over the county during the next 10 days dropping enough precipitation to cause the Nooksack River and small streams to rise and fall several times. None of the systems will produce enough rain to cause any flooding concerns but it you are planning on being on our near the river be aware that there will be changes in the river level and currents. Low areas may see water collecting again and some small streams without any real banks may spread out.
Whatcom County Coastal Weather
The first of 2 fronts will move across the area today, with the second late Friday. Strong onshore flow will follow the front on Saturday. A warm front will the reach the area Sunday night into Monday. Winds. Today: SE wind 15 to 25 kt easing to 10 to 20 kt in the afternoon. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. Rain. Tonight: SE wind 5 to 15 kt easing to 10 kt after midnight. Wind waves 2 ft or less. Rain in the evening then a chance of showers after midnight. Tomorrow: SE wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. A chance of showers. Tomorrow Night: SE wind 5 to 15 kt becoming 10 to 20 kt after midnight. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft.
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.