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
UPDATES: NOTE: Fire danger remains high with the North Cascades going to very high as of Thursday at midnight. Two fires located in the North Cascades National Park as of today: 1. Brush Creek 2 Fire (12 miles southeast of Boundary, WA) and 2. Copper Lake Fire (36 miles northeast of Deming, WA).
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). Addiotionally,
- 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:
-RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 11 PM PDT THIS EVENING FOR HOT, DRY AND UNSTABLE CONDITIONS FOR FIRE WEATHER ZONES 658 AND 659. The National Weather Service in Seattle has issued a Red Flag Warning for hot, dry and unstable conditions, which is in effect until 11 PM PDT this evening. 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.
- SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO 5 AM PDT SATURDAY for South winds 15 to 25 kt. The area includes the Northern Inland Waters Including The San Juan Islands.- 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
Heading into the Labor Day weekend we can expect pretty warm temperatures today in the interior of the county followed by some cooler temperatures with highs remaining in the 70s. There is even a chance of showers thrown in there on Sunday. So, look for highs today in the upper 80s for the Newhalem area and mid-80s in the Sumas and Maple Falls areas. Coastal areas such as Bellingham and Pt Roberts will top out near 80. Skies will be mostly sunny but there will be some haze in the Newhalem area due to a couple of fires burning in the North Cascades National Park. Overnight lows will be around 60 degrees. Saturday may start out with a little drizzle but should turn mostly sunny later. Highs will be in the mid to upper 70s. Lows tomorrow night will be around 60 once again. Sunday will see a chance for showers with the greater chance later in the day heading into the evening. Lows again in the upper 50s and low 60s. Labor Day will be mostly sunny with highs in the mid to upper 70s. Wind will be light for the most part except when the front moves through, we could see some gusts to 15 mph or a little stronger; that will occur on Sunday. Pt Roberts is likely to see gusts to 20 mph or a little more during this same period.
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 over the coastal waters with lower pressure inland through Saturday. Weak system moves through the waters Sunday. High pressure rebuilds over the area Monday and Tuesday. Winds. TODAY Light wind becoming W to 10 kt in the afternoon. Wind waves 1 ft or less. Patchy fog in the morning. TONIGHT S wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. SAT S wind 10 to 20 kt becoming 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. Patchy drizzle and fog in the morning. SAT NIGHT S wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. SUN S wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. SUN NIGHT SW wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. MON W wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. TUE NW wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less.
Note: Friday night could see winds in the "Small Craft Advisory" range. Monitor marine weather for new updates. 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.