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The original item was published from 5/12/2022 9:36:17 AM to 5/19/2022 12:00:02 AM.


Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: May 12, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Thursday, May 12, 2022 Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Look for rain today with an imbedded thunderstorm possible. Highs in the mid-50s with lows in low 40s; higher elevations about 10 degrees cooler. Southerly wind gusting to 20 mph or so coastal areas. Showers overnight. Snow in the higher elevations today.

Active Incidents

Sever Weather Damage 21-18 Emergency Proclamation by the Governor:  Covers the severe wind and rainstorm event that began on November 12, 2021.



GALE WARNING NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM PDT THIS MORNING for Northern Inland Waters Including The San Juan Islands. Southeast winds 25-35 knots.

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM THIS MORNING TO 2 AM PDT FRIDAY for Northern Inland Waters Including The San Juan Islands. Southwest winds 20 to 30 knots are expected.
Environment Canada has issued a "Gale Warning" for the Strait of Georgia-South of Nanaimo. Wind southeast 25-35 knots diminishing to southeast 15-20 knots this morning except southeast 30 knots south of Tsawwassen.  Wind becoming south 15-20 knots early this afternoon then diminishing to light late overnight except southwest 15 knots south of Tsawwassen.  Wind becoming southeast 15-20 knots near noon Friday then diminishing to easterly 5-15 knots Friday evening.  

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 11 PM PDT THIS EVENING ABOVE 4000 FEET for Cascade mountains and valleys of Whatcom and Skagit Counties, including the Mount Baker Ski Area. Snow above 4000 feet. with snow accumulations of 6=10 inches expected. Plan on difficult travel. Heaviest snow is expected to occur in the afternoon.

SR-20 (North Cascade Highway) opened Tuesday at 10:00am. The Spring 2022 cleanup is complete. Keep in mind many of the Forest Service and Park Service facilities remain closed. Also, there remains the possibility of occasional snow at higher elevations along with the risk of avalanches. So enjoy, but remain vigilant for potential dangers. SEE WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY ABOVE!!!

INLAND WEATHER: Chance of rain in the lowland areas of the county with winter weather advisory for higher elevations. Highs today will be in the mid-50s and lows tonight in the low to mid-40s.  The exception is the higher elevations including Newhalem where highs will only reach into the mid-40s and lows tonight will drop down to around 33 degrees.  Winds will be mostly from a southerly direction although Pt Roberts could see more of a west flow. Wind velocity will be greatest along the coast and northern tier of the county where gusts to 20 mph or a little stronger are possible. The National Weather Service has also indicated there is a possibility of an isolated thunderstorm possible today into this evening.  Showers will continue into the evening although they will become more widespread. Tomorrow the chance for showers continues and as things appear now, a chance for precipitation will continue through Sunday night with the percentage being around 70% or greater on Sunday.


While not a huge increase in the river level, the rain on Saturday and Sunday will cause the Nooksack River level to visibly rise by mid-Sunday into Monday.  No flooding will occur, but if you are on or near the river be aware that there could be some level and flow changes which may cause you to alter your activities.  For example, sandbars which may be visible one moment may gradually be submerged by the rising level.  Remember, you can always go to the Public Works website and check the river levels -

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

Frontal system will move through the coastal waters today,  winds over area waters will gradually ease to small craft level  throughout the area waters. Another system will reach the area  from the southwest Friday night into Saturday followed by a third  system on the same path Sunday.  Winds: Today:  SE wind 15 to 25 kt becoming S 20 to 30 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 4 to 6 ft. A chance of rain in the morning then rain in the afternoon. Tonight:   SW wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 3 to 5 ft. Rain in the  evening.  Tomorrow:  SW wind 10 to 20 kt becoming SE 5 to 15 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. A slight chance of showers.  Tomorrow Night:  NE wind to 10 kt becoming SE 5 to 15 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 ft or less. 

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Emergency Management Tips and Reminders

Winter Travel

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.

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