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.
As of today, eligible travelers to Canada, no longer need a PCR or antigen COVID-19 test to enter Canada. However, you must complete a questionnaire on the ArriveCAN app or on the government's website within 72 hours before entering Canada. Travelers will answer a series of questions and must upload digital proof of vaccination in English or French. See https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid/travel-restrictions/covid-vaccinated-travellers-entering-canada 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. WSDOT has begun clearing the road from the winter snow and anticipates it will take 4-6 weeks to complete. There may be additional repairs to the road once it is cleared so the target for opening is likely to change. Stay tuned.
INLAND WEATHER: In general, we'll see increasing clouds today with a chance for showers. High temperatures will be in the low 50s. The wind will be from the south/southwest in the 5-10 mph range. Tonight, the chance for rain increases with the low temperature around 40 degrees. The wind will be about the same. Beginning tomorrow through Tuesday the chance for rain will exist throughout the entire period. It will not always be a steady rain, but showers at the minimum should be expected. Temperatures will continue to reach 50 degrees with lows around 40 or just a little lower. Newhalem will be about 10 degrees cooler. The chance for snow above 2000 feet will exist tomorrow and then rise to 2500 feet. If you are planning any traveling across the Cascades, the National Weather Service is predicting heavy snow for the early part of next week. Check WSDOT before starting to make sure the road conditions are safe or what equipment (e.g. chains, etc.) may be required.
RIVERS AND STREAMS:
The effects from the rain will cause the Nooksack to spike a little as we move into late Sunday evening and into Monday. It will not cause any flooding, but it certainly will be noticeable. You can expect the same from the small streams. In addition, low spots and depressions will once again fill up with water keeping the ground saturated. If you see water flowing over the road, do not attempt to drive through it; simply turn around an use a different route. You'll end up losing 5-10 minutes of time but the alternative could be very costly. 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
High pressure over the waters this morning, but a weak front crosses later today. A series of stronger fronts arrive over the weekend into the start of next week, with sharply building seas and much stronger winds by Monday. Winds. Today: S wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. A chance of rain in the afternoon. Tonight: S wind to 10 kt becoming SW 10 to 20 kt after midnight. Wind waves 1 ft or less building to 1 to 3 ft after midnight. Rain likely. Tomorrow: W wind 10 to 20 kt becoming SW 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. A chance of showers in the morning then a slight chance of showers in the afternoon. Tomorrow Night: SE wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. Sunday: SE wind 5 to 15 kt rising to 15 to 25 kt in the afternoon. Wind waves 2 ft or less building to 2 to 4 ft in the afternoon. Sunday Night: S wind 15 to 20 kt becoming SE 15 to 25 kt after midnight. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft.
Note: While it's too early for a Small Craft Advisory for the winds on Sunday, watch for it to be issues sometime Saturday if the forecast remains the same. Winds of 15-25 knots usually result in such an advisory being issued. Tide Information
Em1346ergency 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.