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The original item was published from 5/17/2022 9:12:14 AM to 5/24/2022 12:00:02 AM.


Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: May 17, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Tuesday, May 17, 2022 Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Fairly decent day weather-wise with temps near 60 degrees under mostly cloudy skies. Winds will be on the lighter side. Tonight, clouds increase, rain will develop and wind will increase. Lows around 45 degrees. Tomorrow-rain and wind between 30-40 mph!

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.



SR-20 (North Cascade Highway) opened a week ago but 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. We are likely to see snow return to the higher elevations as the next weather system moves in with snow dropping down as low as 2300' at times.  The higher elevations could see between 12-18 inches of new snow.

Today will still be a fairly calm day with temperatures reaching near 60 degrees with lows tonight dropping down into the mid-40s. Winds will be from a southerly direction fairly light 5-15 mph and skies will be partly to mostly cloudy. Newhalem will be a little cooler. Things begin to change later tonight with more clouds moving in and rain beginning. Rain will continue throughout tomorrow with winds picking up from a southerly direction and reaching 30-40 mph or a little stronger. Snow will also develop in the higher elevations with somewhere between 12-18 inches expected. Some snow is likely to fall at lower elevations such as 4000' and dropping even lower (2300' or so). This could result in some hazardous driving conditions. Temperatures tomorrow will also be a few degrees cooler. Once we get past Wednesday evening, we should see partly to mostly cloudy skies on Thursday. Friday looks to be mostly sunny with temperatures that will be 60 degrees or a little higher.


The Nooksack River is slowly dropping at this time; it is likely to rise just a little from this next weather system and then drop once again.   No problems are anticipated.  Remember, you can always go to the Public Works website and check the river levels -

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

Onshore flow today will ease by Tuesday. A  vigorous frontal system will move through the area Tuesday night  and Wednesday, followed by more onshore flow Thursday and Friday.  Winds.  Today:  Light wind becoming S to 10 kt in the afternoon. Wind  waves 1 ft or less.  Tonight.  SW wind to 10 kt becoming SE 15 to 25 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 1 ft or less building to 2 to 4 ft after  midnight. Rain likely after midnight.   Tomorrow:  SE wind 25 to 35 kt becoming SW in the afternoon. Wind  waves 3 to 5 ft. Rain.   Tomorrow Night:  SW wind 25 to 35 kt becoming W 20 to 30 kt after  midnight. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft.  

NOTE:  While there is not "small Craft Advisory" or "Gale Warning" issued at this time, the winds tomorrow do rise to levels where those notices are likely to be posted.  Monitor marine weather for updates as the weather system will cause conditions to change rapidly as well associated notices.

Tide Information

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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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