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The original item was published from 6/16/2023 7:55:17 AM to 6/21/2023 12:00:01 AM.


Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: June 16, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Friday, June 16, 2023 Emergency Management Daily Briefing for Whatcom County

It is looking like our weather will be cool with some rain on and off through the weekend and into next week. Remember as trails are starting to open up to be prepared when out hiking or exploring.

Active Incidents

Currently there are no ongoing or active incidents in Whatcom County.

Advisories, Watches and Warnings

Currently there are no ongoing advisories, watches or warnings in Whatcom County. Whatcom County Fire Marshal has initiated a Stage 1 Burn Ban effective 0800 Friday, June 9. See here for more information.

A subject of note here is the Mt Baker Hwy closure which is affecting a large area of the county. Please visit the Whatcom County Public Works Road Closures and Restrictions page for more information.

Weather Around Whatcom County

Whatcom County Inland Weather

A shift to a wetter, cooler than average weather pattern will occur over the course of the forecast period.  Cloud cover increases ahead of an approaching disturbance with a few light rain showers after 10-11am Friday as a cold front passes through the region. That said, most of Friday is expected to remain dry, and any rainfall accumulation should be rather light for that matter. Friday will also be cooler compared to the previous day as highs only reach the 60s.

Friday night will present a better opportunity for accumulating rain as showers end early in the evening and redevelop overnight. Saturday is looking mostly dry, however, as any lingering showers from the previous night taper off by mid morning. Winds are expected to be rather breezy through the forecast period, but likely reach peak intensity on Friday morning and Saturday afternoon as gusts top out near 15-20 mph.

Cool, showery weather is expected to continue through the rest of the weekend and the first half of next week. Saturday night should be dry, but widespread rain showers develop on Sunday morning and continue through the daytime hours. Conditions then look to remain dry on Sunday night. While shower coverage on Monday appears spotty at this time, another round of widespread rain is expected on Monday night and Tuesday. This active pattern will likely keep temperatures in the 40s/50s through the middle of the week. The second half of next week is looking drier and warmer, however.

Rivers and Streams

The Nooksack River and stream levels in Whatcom County are normal for this time of year.  

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

For the Strait and Inland Coastal Waters off Whatcom County today the wind will come from the south at 5-15 knots, wind waves 1-3 feet. A slight chance of rain in the afternoon. Moving into the evening, winds will continue from the southwest at 10-20 knots. Wind waves 2-4 feet. A slight chance of showers in the evening. Tomorrow winds come from the southwest at 5-15 knots becoming 10-20 knots in the afternoon. Wind waves will be 1-3 feet. A slight chance of showers. For a look at real-time coastal weather and tides you can link here to the Cherry Point NOAA Tide Station.

Emergency Management Tips and Reminders

Search and Rescue Tips

As we have our trails opening up, and while no one ever plans to get lost or injured in the forest, you are in the best position to help yourself and Search and Rescue personnel:

The best tool needed for survival in the event you get lost outdoors is your skill of advanced planning. You must expect the unexpected and plan accordingly. Even if you are going out for just a few hours, pack enough essentials that you can stay hydrated, fueled and prepared for any type of weather. Your essentials should include at least:

  • More than enough food and water for the activity you plan.
  • A compass that you know how to use. You may want a GPS device, but those sometimes do not receive a signal or the battery fails. Cell phones also likely will not work because of a lack of signal.
  • Appropriate maps. Study the terrain and your planned route. Know where you are going and how you will return.
  • Sturdy hiking boots, clothes that you can layer depending on the weather conditions and additional socks in case the ones you are wearing get wet.
  • A blanket, flashlight, matches kept in a water-resistant container, and other items that will help you survive overnight if necessary.
  • Check with the local ranger district or forest office for special warnings, such as fires in the area, bear sightings, flooding, trail or road closures, etc.

It’s also important that once you have planned your outing, tell someone. Give them exact details of where you are going, the trail you plan to follow, when you will return, the vehicle you are driving (and where you plan to park) and how many people will go with you – do not go alone. BUT – if you do become lost your most important tool is keeping a positive mental attitude and:

Stop: As soon as you realize you may be lost: stop, stay calm, stay put. Panic is your greatest enemy.

Think: Go over in your mind how you got to where you are. What landmarks should you be able to see? Do not move at all until you have a specific reason to take a step.


  • Get our your compass and determine the directions based on where you are standing. Do not walk aimlessly.
  • If you are on a trail, stay on it. All trails are marked with signs (where intersections meet) and diamond blazers or maker. However, signs are sometimes vandalized or stolen.
  • As a very last resort, follow a drainage or stream downhill. This is often difficult path but could lead to a trail or road. Again, this could be very dangerous.


  • Based on your thinking and observations, come up with some possible plans, think them through then act on one of them.
  • If you are not very, very confident in the route, then it’s always better to stay put.
  • If it’s nightfall, you are injured or you are near exhaustion, stay in place.

The Emergency Management Daily Briefing is produced Monday - Friday unless an update is required for an incident or event over a weekend or during holidays.

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