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The original item was published from 12/3/2023 8:18:14 AM to 12/6/2023 8:00:01 AM.


Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: December 3, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Sunday, December 3, 2023 Emergency Management Daily Briefing for Whatcom County

Our expected change to wetter weather has arrived. Through next Wednesday we can expect multiple systems moving through with each tending warmer and wetter. See our flood safety tips below.

Active Incidents

There are currently no active incidents in Whatcom County.

Advisories, Watches and Warnings

There is a small craft advisory in effect from Saturday 1300 through Monday at 1800 for the Northern Inland Waters, followed by a gale warning Monday, 12/4/23 1800 through 12/5/23 0600 . See here for more information.

There is a flood watch for Whatcom County from Saturday 2200 through Thursday 0400. See here for more information.

July 24 a drought emergency was declared by WA State Dept of Ecology for Whatcom County.

Whatcom County Inland Weather

  • Gusty winds up to 30-35 mph possible Sunday morning-midday along most places. Gusts up to 40-45 possible along the waterfront of Bellingham / Samish curves. Breezy winds possible again late in the afternoon on Monday. 

     Moderate to heavy rainfall beginning as early Monday afternoon will create flooding concerns as rates up to 0.15-0.25"/hr will be seen at times. With snow levels being very high snow melt will enhance flooding concerns.

    As we head into the morning hours on Sunday steady light rain showers will be continuing at times before decreasing and finally ending in the early afternoon. Winds will also be breezy in the mid to late morning hours with gusts up to 45mph at times near Bellingham. We will be seeing mostly dry weather continuing through the rest of the afternoon for the lowland routes however a couple more showers will be seen going into the evening hours for eastern foothills towards SR-542. Any remaining spotty showers will be ending before midnight along SR-542 with dry weather continuing into the early morning hours on Monday. The much anticipated atmospheric river event arrives mid morning on Monday bringing steady rain showers through the morning before increasing in the early afternoon. Moderate to heavy rainfall will be seen mid to late afternoon creating flooding concerns and with enhanced snow levels, melting snow will be adding to the flood concern. Rates up to 0.25"/hr will be seen possibly a bit higher in the foothills at times and will only increase as we head into the overnight hours on Monday.

    Steady moderate to heavy rainfall will be continuing into the overnight hours on Monday before decreasing shortly after midnight with another 0.80-1.00" of rainfall accumulations expected. A few more rain showers will be lingering into the morning hours on Tuesday and likely into the afternoon before fully tapering off. Tuesday night looks to then remain relatively dry with no significant concerns expected. Wednesday looks to continue to remain dry with potential for a few scattered showers at times though late Wednesday night into Thursday morning another much weaker system comes through producing light rain. This system tapers off going into the morning hours on Thursday with conditions remaining fairly dry through the rest of the week. Temperatures will be much cooler near the end of the week with potential frost/ice concerns Thursday night and Friday night. Another atmospheric river looks to arrive Saturday morning bringing moderate to heavy rain.

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

For the Strait and Inland Coastal Waters of Whatcom County today will be winds from the south at 20-30 knots easing to 20-30 knots. Wind waves 3-5 feet. Rain. Moving into the evening we will have winds from the southwest at 15-25 knots becoming southeast at 10-20 knots after midnight. Wind waves 2-4 feet. Rain in the evening, then a chance of rain after midnight. Tomorrow will have winds from the southeast at 20-30 knots. Wind waves 3-5 feet. Rain. For a look at real-time coastal weather and tides you can link here to the Cherry Point NOAA Tide Station.

Air Quality

Visit the Whatcom County Health Department's Wildfire Smoke for up-to-date information and air quality.

Emergency Management Tips and Reminders

CERT Activities

New CERT classes will begin in 2024. See here for more information.

Flood Safety Tips

Floods are the most common and widespread of all weather-related natural disasters. Flooding is an overflowing of water onto land that is normally dry. Floods can happen during: 

  • heavy rains, 
  • when ocean waves come on shore, 
  • when snow melts quickly, or 
  • when dams or levees break.

Areas located in the Nooksack River floodplain are subject to regular flooding in Whatcom County. Visit Whatcom County River and Flood for more information.

The National Weather Service issues multiple flood notices ahead of possible flooding.

Flood Notice
Action to Take

Flood Advisory

Issued when a forecasted weather event may become a nuisance.

Check local news radio station KGMI AM 790

Monitor Whatcom Ready on Facebook or the website

Be alert to weather conditions

Flood Watch

Issued when conditions are favorable/possible for flooding

Continue the above actions, and be prepared to evacuate quickly if needed.

Flood Warning

Issued when flooding is imminent or is already occurring

Continue the above actions and move to higher ground

Evacuation Levels

Evacuation Level

Action to Take

Level 1-Get Ready

Be aware of potential threat

Monitor Whatcom Ready on Facebook or the website

Prepare to move persons with special needs, pets and livestock

Level 2-Get Set

Move persons with special needs, pets and livestock

Be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice

Level 3-Go

Evacuate immediately. Emergency services may not be able to provide further assistance if you stay.

Turn around, don’t drown! Don’t drive or walk into flooded areas.

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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