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The original item was published from 12/8/2023 3:22:00 PM to 12/12/2023 8:00:02 AM.

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Sheriff - Emergency Management Daily Briefing

Posted on: December 8, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Friday, December 8, 2023 Emergency Management Daily Briefing for Whatcom County

The weather through the weekend will be wet with mild temperatures for this time of year. See our flood safety tips below.

Active Incidents

There are currently no active incidents in Whatcom County.

Advisories, Watches and Warnings

There is a gale warning for the Northern Inland Waters in effect Saturday 0800 through 2200. See here for more information.

There is a winter storm advisory in effect above 2,500 feet for eastern Whatcom County Saturday 1000 through Sunday 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

Frost/ice concerns possible Friday night.  More prone areas such as bridges, overpasses, shaded roads, .etc will be the main concern.

Wet snow/snow showers possible early to mid afternoon Saturday as snow levels ride around 500-1000ft. Heaviest slushy snow expected along SR-542 towards Maple Falls with up to 2-4" and the lower foothills likely see up to trace-1" slush before snow levels rise. 

As we head into the morning hours on Friday expect to see some potential light mist/drizzle at times though conditions look to be drying out before 8-9am. Dry weather then expected through the day and night on Friday with the only concern being potential for light frost/freezes during the overnight hours as cooler easterly flow develops. Bridges and overpasses will be the main concern as well as prone spots.

The main concern comes during the late morning to early afternoon hours on Saturday as lower snow levels will be seen steady steadier precipitation arriving. We can expect to see steadier rain develop around 11am-12pm and with snow levels hovering around 500-1000ft we may be seeing potential for some slushy wet snow accumulations to develop over the higher hills and possibly down to the surface though will likely melt quickly. Though SR-542 will likely be seeing heavier slushy accumulations with up to 2-4" possible around Maple Falls before temperatures begin to warm up. Heaviest showers between 2-5pm will likely be the main concern as that will likely be prone times for slush ups but however snow levels will be rising to around 2,500-3,000ft allowing wet snow showers to switch over to rain. Rain showers will then be expected to linger into the overnight hours on Saturday into Sunday morning with snow levels continuing to slowly rise.

Snow levels look to then remain high through the rest of the weekend with any showers remaining as rain. A few spotty rain showers expected through the day on Sunday before decreasing further and then tapering off overnight before midnight on Sunday. Dry weather will then be seen through the rest of Sunday night into Monday morning. Dry weather expected to continue through the first half of the week before another system looks to arrive Wednesday afternoon. This system will be brief with rain showers expected through the afternoon hours and into the evening before decreasing and ending. Drier weather will then be seen through the rest of the week and into the weekend with warmer temperatures expected.

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

For the Strait and Inland Coastal Waters of Whatcom County today the winds will be from the west up to 10 knots. Wind waves 1 foot or less. A chance of showers in the morning. Moving into the evening we will have winds from the southwest up to 10 knots becoming east 10-20 knots after midnight. Wind waves 1 foot or less building to 1-3 feet after midnight. A slight chance of rain after midnight. Tomorrow will have winds from the southeast at 20-30 knots, rising to 30-40 knots in the afternoon. Wind waves 3-5 feet, building to 5-7 feet in the afternoon. A  chance of rain in the morning, then rain in the afternoon. 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.

Holiday and Winter Preparedness

The holidays can be a time of celebration and winter activities can be fun and invigorating, but storms and cold weather can be dangerous. Stay safe and healthy by planning ahead.

  • Don’t leave lit candles unattended, make sure they are out before leaving the room. 
  • Make sure you don’t overload electrical circuits with too many lights or space heaters.
  • Make sure you have cleaned your chimney this fall if you heat with wood.
  • Make sure you have working smoke detectors.
  • Have a snow shovel and ice-melting products to keep your walkways safe.
  • Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow and consider working with a partner.
  • Plan to check on loved ones and neighbors to make sure they are staying warm during stormy weather. 
  • Travel only is absolutely necessary during stormy weather, travel during the daylight hours and let someone know your travel plans.
  • Have backup power if you have someone dependent on electric-powered, life-sustaining equipment.
  • Know where you will go if your home becomes too cold. You could go to a friend’s house, a public library, or a warming center
  • Be ready for power outages
    • Have a flashlight with fresh batteries
    • Keep containers of water available 
    • Locate generators, grills, camp stoves or other gas, propane, natural gas or charcoal burning devices outside away from doors, window or vents

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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