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 i- 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:
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.
Today will be mostly cloudy with highs in the low to mid-50s. Expect increasing clouds this evening with the chance for rain to develop at some point and temperatures dropping to the low to mid-40s. Wind across the county will be variable but the velocity will be around 10 mph or a little higher; some places may not experience any wind at all. Tomorrow, look for rain to continue with the high temperatures a few degrees cooler. The wind will again be on the lighter side. Tomorrow night rain continues and the lows will be in the low 40s. Sunday and Sunday night appear to be wet with the high and low being about the same as Saturday or a few degrees warmer. Newhalem will be anywhere from 5-8 degrees cooler for both the high and the low.
Rivers and Streams
Nothing significant to report concerning the Nooksack River or the streams in Whatcom County. The rain over the weekend will cause the river to rise a little, but nothing that would cause any concern. However, the caution always remains that if you are planning an activity that puts you on or near the river, make sure you are taking precautions that account for changes in river level and velocity. Remember, you can always go to the Public Works website and check the river levels - https://www.whatcomcounty.us/666/Forecasts-Current-River-Conditions.
Whatcom County Coastal Weather
A weakening cold front will move into the area tonight, stall over the area on Saturday and then lift north of the area Saturday night and Sunday. A trailing trough will move through the area Sunday night and Monday. High pressure will build over the area on Tuesday. Winds. Today: S wind to 10 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind waves 2 ft or less. Tonight: SW wind to 10 kt becoming E after midnight. Wind waves 1 ft or less. A chance of rain after midnight. Tomorrow: E wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. Rain in the morning then rain likely in the afternoon. Tomorrow Night: N wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. Sunday: N wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. Sunday Night: W wind to 10 kt becoming SW after midnight. Wind waves 1 ft or less. Tide Information
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.