Mostly sunny today (after clouds burn off) with highs near 80 in Bellingham and a little warmer in the interior. Light winds. Tonight: Partly cloudy with lows near 60. Tomorrow: Warmer (heat advisory begins at noon) with highs mid-80s to lower 90s.
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 WEDNESDAY TO MIDNIGHT PDT THURSDAY NIGHT for hot conditions with temperatures in the mid 80s to low 90s expected. This will pose a moderate risk of heat-related illness. This includes western Whatcom County. IMPACTS: Heat will increase the risk of heat-related illnessesfor those who are sensitive to heat, especially those without effective cooling or adequate hydration.- 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.
- 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 will be much like yesterday where skies should be mostly clear after the low clouds burn off. Temperatures will approach 80 degrees in Bellingham and Pt Roberts and about 5-7 degrees warmer in the interior parts of the county. Winds will continue to be on the lighter side from the west/southwest. Tonight will be little bit of a mix. If you happen to be in the Newhalem area, you could experience a shower; other areas will be partly cloudy. We can expect low temperatures near the 60 degree mark. Tomorrow will bring warmer temperatures with Bellingham getting up to 85 or so and interior parts of the county such as Sumas and Maple Falls reaching the low 9i0s. Winds will continue to remain light for most areas. Pt Roberts could see some northwest winds between 11-14 mph. Newhalem could see some pop-up thunderstorms later tomorrow and tomorrow night. Lows tomorrow night will again drop to around 60 degrees. Thursday will continue to be warm with temperatures about the same as Wednesday. There is really no significant moisture anywhere around so it is imperative we all do our part to minimize the human aspect of a fire starting. We can't control lightning and thunderstorms but we can adhere to all the fire restrictions in place. Thank you.
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 remains in place offshore through much of the week, with onshore flow continuing through the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Persistent northwest winds over the coastal waters will maintain steep seas through much of the week. Winds. TODAY S wind to 10 kt becoming W in the afternoon. Wind waves 1 ft or less. TONIGHT SW wind to 10 kt becoming NW 5 to 15 kt after midnight. Wind waves 2 ft or less. WED NW wind 5 to 15 kt becoming to 10 kt in the afternoon. Wind waves 2 ft or less. WED NIGHT SW wind 5 to 15 kt becoming S after midnight. Wind waves 2 ft or less. THU Light wind. Wind waves less than 1 ft. 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.