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 Whatcom County Fire Marshall issued a Stage 1 Burn Ban for unincorporated Whatcom County effective Saturday, July 16, 2022. As of that time, all land clearing and yard debris burning was to be discontinued at that time and all issued burn permits are suspended. Recreational fires will still be allowed with the landowner’s permission but must meet specific requirements (see URL: https://www.whatcomcounty.us/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=3337; or contact the fire marshal's office). Additionally,
- If your property lies within Whatcom County Fire Districts (WCFD) 5- Pt. Roberts, 11- Lummi Island, or 17- Sandy Point, you must check with those fire districts for outdoor burning restrictions and to obtain outdoor burning permits (when available).
- If your property lies within, or you are visiting property that is fire protected by Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), or a federal parks or forest agency, you must contact those organizations about outdoor burning restrictions.
ADVISORIES, WATCHES AND WARNINGS:
- HEAT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO MIDNIGHT PDT THURSDAY NIGHT for hot conditions with temperatures in the mid 80s to mid 90s expected. This will pose a moderate to high risk of heat-related illness. This is for western Whatcom County southwest interior including Bellingham.
- Excessive Heat Warning REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO MIDNIGHT PDT THURSDAY NIGHT for dangerously hot conditions with temperatures in the Cascade Valleys in the upper 90s and approaching 100 degrees are expected on Wednesday and Thursday. Overnight lows will remain in the 60s. This will pose a very high risk of heat-related illness for locations below 2000 feet. The area includes the West Slopes South Central Cascades and Passes, West Slopes North Central Cascades and Passes and West Slopes North Cascades and Passes.
- RED FLAG WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM WEDNESDAY TO 10 PM PDT THURSDAY FOR DRY AND UNSTABLE CONDITIONS FOR FIRE WEATHER ZONES 658 AND 659. AFFECTED AREA...Fire Weather Zone 658 West Slopes of the North Cascades Generally above 1500 Feet and Fire Weather Zone 659 West Slopes of the Central Cascades Generally above 1500 Feet.
- Strong Wind Warning In Effect for the Strait of Georgia - South of Nanaimo: Wind northwest 5 to 15 knots increasing to northwest 15-25 knots early this morning then becoming northwest 15 knots Thursday evening.
- SR-20 (North Cascade Highway) is open; however, there are several areas that will need to have emergency repairs this spring/summer/fall. Traffic control lights are placed at those locations. Long delays should be expected especially over long weekends and holidays. In addition to emergency repairs there are areas where normal road maintenance is scheduled along with several culvert replacements for fish passage. Check WSDOT website for current conditions before traveling.
Inland Whatcom County Weather
Today and tomorrow will be the warmest days of the week with upper 80s expected along the coast rising to the mid-90s or so in Maple Falls area. All this will be under clear skies so not much chance for a break. There will not be much wind either; only Pt Roberts will have a breeze (8-14 mph from the northwest) that may provide a little relief. The overnight lows will drop into the low 60s but Newhalem will remain a little warmer coming in at 68 or 69 for the overnight low. Expect tomorrow to be very much the same, perhaps a degree or two warmer. There may be a few clouds around tomorrow. On Friday, the temperatures will drop by roughly 8-10 degrees. In addition to the heat advisories and warnings for today and tomorrow, there is a Red Flag Warning. That means conditions are in a state that makes fire danger significant. Adhere to all the fire burn bans and restrictions. If you are in a location where some fire is still allowed, make sure you know what the requirements are for having a fire.
Nooksack River, Creeks and Small Streams
Things remain pretty static with the Nooksack River which is normal for this time of year. Most of the water is snowmelt and it is a slow, steady melt keeping the river level and right about where it is now. Be very careful if planning any activity in the water as cold water shock or hypothermia can occur quickly. Wear a life jacket. Remember, you can always go to the Public Works website to check the river levels - https://www.whatcomcounty.us/666/Forecasts-Current-River-Conditions.
Whatcom County Coastal Weather
High pressure is offshore with thermal low pressure inland. Westerly winds will strengthen down the Strait by Friday night as onshore flow increases. Winds. TODAY NW wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. TONIGHT W wind to 10 kt becoming NW 5 to 15 kt after midnight. Wind waves 2 ft or less. THU NW wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. THU NIGHT NW wind to 10 kt becoming N after midnight. Wind waves 2 ft or less. FRI NW wind 10 to 20 kt becoming SW to 10 kt in the afternoon. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft subsiding to 1 ft or less in the afternoon. Tide Information (Cherry Point)
Emergency Management Tips and Reminders
Cars and Hot Temperatures
Every year a number of children and pets perish because they are left in vehicles due to high temperatures. It is absolutely critical that everyone understand how rapidly a car can heat up. The following shows the effects after only ten minutes.
At 70 degrees, a car will heat to 89 degrees in ten minutes.
At 75 degrees, a car will heat to 94 degrees in ten minutes
At 80 degrees, a car will heat to 99 degrees in ten minutes
At 85 degrees, a car will heat to 104 degree in ten minutes
At 90 degrees, a car will heat to 109 degrees in ten minutes
At 95 degrees, a car will heat to 114 degrees in ten minutes.
BOTTOM LINE: Do not leave children or pets in vehicles.
While we have been extremely fortunate concerning the risk for wildfire to date, things could change rapidly with dry, hot weather. Now is the time to inventory your home environment to see what wildfire risks you can mitigate against. To that extent, the following information was taken from the National Fire Protection Agency on wildfire preparedness. Additional information about the wildfires and the Firewise program can be found at the NFPA website: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Wildfire/Preparing-homes-for-wildfire
1. HOME IGNITION ZONES: To increase your home’s chance of surviving a wildfire, choose fire-resistant building materials and limit the amount of flammable vegetation in the three home ignition zones. The zones include the Immediate Zone: (0 to 5 feet around the house), the Intermediate Zone (5 to 30 feet), and the Extended Zone (30 to 100 feet).
2. LANDSCAPING AND MAINTENANCE: To reduce ember ignitions and fire spread, trim branches that overhang the home, porch, and deck and prune branches of large trees up to 6 to 10 feet (depending on their height) from the ground. Remove plants containing resins, oils, and waxes. Use crushed stone or gravel instead of flammable mulches in the Immediate Zone (0 to 5 feet around the house). Keep your landscape in good condition.
3. ROOFING AND VENTS: Class A fire-rated roofing products, such as composite shingles, metal, concrete, and clay tiles, offer the best protection. Inspect shingles or roof tiles and replace or repair those that are loose or missing to prevent ember penetration. Box in eaves, but provide ventilation to prevent condensation and mildew. Roof and attic vents should be screened to prevent ember entry.
4. DECKS AND PORCHES: Never store flammable materials underneath decks or porches. Remove dead vegetation and debris from under decks and porches and between deck board joints.
5. SIDING AND WINDOWS: Embers can collect in small nooks and crannies and ignite combustible materials; radiant heat from flames can crack windows. Use fire-resistant siding such as brick, fibercement, plaster, or stucco, and use dual-pane tempered glass windows.
6. EMERGENCY RESPONDER ACCESS: Ensure your home and neighborhood have legible and clearly marked street names and numbers. Driveways should be at least 12 feet wide with a vertical clearance of 15 feet for emergency vehicle access.
7. FINAL THOUGHTS:
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.