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.
We're going to see a little back and forth this week between some rain then mostly cloudy, then chance of rain and back to partly sunny skies. Look for highs in the mid to upper 50s in most locations in Whatcom County today with lows tonight dropping into the low to mid-40s. Winds will be on the light side. Tuesday will range between mostly cloudy along the coast to mostly sunny in Newhalem. Temperatures will be in the low to mid-50s and winds will once again be on the lighter side. Tuesday night we're likely to see rain developing again and that will last into Thursday morning, or at least the chance of it. Temperatures for the remainder of the week will be in the low 50s.
Rivers and Streams
Very little change in the river level over the next five days. There will be a little bump from the rain in the middle of the week. 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 weak trough will move through the area today. High pressure will build over the area on Tuesday. Another front will cross the area Tuesday night and Wednesday. High pressure will rebuild over the area on Thursday. A second front will reach the area on Friday. Winds. Today: NW wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. A chance of showers. Tonight: W wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. Tomorrow: SE wind to 10 kt becoming S 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind waves 2 ft or less. Tomorrow Night:SW wind 10 to 20 kt rising to 15 to 25 kt after midnight. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft building to 2 to 4 ft after midnight.
Note: No Small Craft Advisory yet for tomorrow night but 15-25 knot wind usually results in one being issued. Monitor marine radio for that notice. 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.