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The original item was published from 12/4/2023 7:49:21 AM to 12/7/2023 8:00:01 AM.


Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: December 4, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Monday, December 4, 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 Tuesday 12/5/23 0400 . 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

  • Moderate to heavy rain due to the atmospheric river will create flooding and ponding of water along the roadways Monday afternoon through Tuesday morning. Potential for landslides will be possible as well for the interior routes near the foothills and along prone routes of SR-542.


    Wind gusts up to 45-50mph will be seen late Monday afternoon into the early evening hours as the primary front moves through; especially near Bellingham and water routes. 

    A brief period of dry time will be seen as we head into the day on Monday with the storm arriving by 8-9am bringing steady rain showers through the rest of the daytime hours. We will be seeing stronger southerly winds and the front moves through with gusts up to 45-50mph at times around Bellingham and any water routes. Moderate to heavy rain looks to move in around 5-6pm and will then continue through the rest of the night. Rainfall rates up to  0.15-0.25"/hr will be seen at times between 5pm until 4-5am Tuesday morning; rates will likely be on the higher end towards eastern routes as we head into the foothills. 24hr rain accumulations from Monday morning through Tuesday morning will likely be upwards of 1-2" for the lowlands and possibly 2-4" for the interior routes along SR-542. Flooding as well as ponding of water on the roadways will be expected with potential for landslides as we head into the the overnight hours as high snow levels will be melting snow and creating more instability and more runoff. With decreasing rainfall going into the morning hours on Tuesday likely after 4-5am we will be seeing lingering showers at times before finally tapering off around noon or so. A couple lingering showers may develop in the late afternoon however though will be remaining light.

    We may be seeing a couple stray showers at times going into the evening hours on Tuesday though there will likely be more dry time than not. Conditions are trending a bit drier for the rest of the work week however we shouldn't completely rule out the potential for a light system to move through Thursday afternoon but will be remaining fairly light if it does. Dry weather expected on Friday through early Saturday morning before more wet and unsettled weather returns late morning on Saturday with showery conditions once expected once again through the rest of the weekend.

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

For the Strait and Inland Coastal Waters of Whatcom County today will be winds from the east at 15-25 knots becoming southeast 20-30 knots in the afternoon. Wind waves 3-5 feet. Rain. Moving into the evening we will have winds from the southeast at 25-35 knots. Wind waves 4-6 feet. Rain. Tomorrow will have winds from the southwest at 10-20 knots becoming south at 5-15 knots in the afternoon. Wind waves 1-3 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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