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The original item was published from 5/13/2022 8:46:54 AM to 5/19/2022 12:00:03 AM.

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Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: May 13, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Friday, May 13, 2022 Emergency Management Daily Briefing

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.



WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 11 PM PDT THIS EVENING ABOVE 4000 FEET for Cascade mountains and valleys of Whatcom and Skagit Counties,  

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.

INLAND WEATHER: As we move into the weekend, we'll see some areas of the county with partly cloudy skies today (e.g. Bellingham and Newhalem) while other parts of the county will continue to see a small chance of showers this morning and then cloudy skies this afternoon. Temperatures will remain in the mid-50 range for the lower areas of the county and mid-40s or so for places like Newhalem although on Saturday and Sunday we may just cross over the 60 degree mark by a degree or two. The snow level will rise from 2300' to 3100' over the day. Winds will be predominantly from the south but don't be surprised if you experience a west or northwest wind in the northern part of the county. The wind velocity should be limited to 10-15 mph or a little stronger in the northern parts of the county. The chance for county-wide showers returns late tonight or early tomorrow morning with increasing chances for rain on Sunday and Sunday night. After Sunday's rain, we'll continue to see the chance for showers Monday and Tuesday.

We will see a couple of times when the Nooksack River level will rise just a little, one being today and the other on Sunday.  Neither of the increases will be substantial, and perhaps they may even go unnoticed. But it's always good to check out the level before engaging in any activity around or on the river. The water will be running very cold so that is a safety concern to be aware of.  Beyond the increase on Sunday and Monday, there is little precipitation to impact the river level for the next week or so.  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

Weak high pressure will make for light winds and  seas today. Another system will reach the area from the southwest  tonight into Saturday followed by a third system on the same path  Sunday.  Winds: Today:  SW wind 10 to 20 kt becoming SE in the afternoon. Wind  waves 1 to 3 ft.  Tonight:   NE wind to 10 kt becoming SE 10 to 20 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. A slight chance of showers in the  evening then a chance of showers after midnight. Tomorrow:  E wind 5 to 15 kt becoming SE 10 to 20 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. A chance of showers. Tomorrow Night:  S wind 10 to 20 kt becoming SE after midnight. Wind  waves 1 to 3 ft. Sunday:  SE wind 5 to 15 kt becoming E 10 to 20 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. Sunday Night:  SE wind 15 to 25 kt becoming S 10 to 20 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. 

NOTE:  It appears that "Small Craft Advisory" level winds will  develop on Sunday evening and last into Monday. No advisory has been posted for that time frame yet; however, 15-25 knot winds usually result in issuance of that advisory.  Monitor marine weather for that notification assuming the winds remain that high.

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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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