Good afternoon. You have reached the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management Daily Briefing; today is Tuesday, February 4th and the time is 4:15 pm.
As floodwaters continue to recede, efforts are underway by numerous municipal and county agencies to determine the impacts from the storm that ended last Saturday. You can help by notifying officials about damage you have observed.
Advisories, Watches and Warnings:
A “Small Craft Advisory” is in effect until tomorrow at 4:00 pm for winds from the south at 20-30 knots.
A “Winter Weather Advisory” is in effect until Wednesday at 10:00 am for the Cascades including Mount Baker Ski Area. Total snow accumulation expected between 10-18 inches.
A “Flood Watch” is in effect from Wednesday morning through Friday afternoon for our area.
Highs today will top out near 40 degrees with lows tonight only dropping about five degrees or so. Winds will be from the southeast and there could be some gusts near 25 mph or a little higher. Early snow will turn to rain in the lower elevations, a rain/now mixture in the foothills, and all snow in the upper elevations. Tomorrow will actually be warmer with highs in the lower areas reaching into the mid 40s. Rain will be falling on all areas except the higher elevations where snow is expected. Temperatures tomorrow night are expected to be in the lower 40s or upper 30s. Looking out for the remainder of the week, there is a chance for rain throughout the period with snow at higher elevations.
The Nooksack River level has dropped considerable but is expected to rise again from this system that is starting to impact us. There will likely be some road closures or detours again due to high water. Check the Public Works website for a list of road restrictions or closures. Observe all road closures and detour signs. Do not interpret that to mean anything but what is says.
Coastal Weather for Whatcom County
For the Inland and Coastal Waters of Whatcom County, winds from the south tonight and southwest tomorrow will strong enough to keep a "Small Craft Advisory" in place. Winds will turn more to the west tomorrow night and decrease to around 10 knots. On Thursday winds will pick-up from the south increase in velocity to the “Small Craft Advisory” range once again.
Tides at Cherry Point for the next two days:
Here are a few emergency management reminders:
First, put your Winter Safety Kit in your vehicle if you haven’t done so already. Check the Washington State Department of Transportation website for a list of items to have in your kit.
Second, watch for ice and slush on the roadways especially where the temperature drops below the freezing level. And don’t forget, shaded caused by overhanging trees, mountains, or even buildings can shield the sun from thawing the frost and you could go from a dry area to patches of frost which could cause a loss of traction or vehicle control. Elevation will also make a difference as to where the freezing level is so keep alert.
Third, watch for packed snow or patches of packed snow if you are headed to the ski area or crossing the Cascades over the next couple of days. Slush or snow building up under your vehicle tires can cause your vehicle to ride on top of an unstable surface and can lead to loss of traction and vehicle control.
Fourth, keep an eye on the avalanche notifications and tree well warning. You can find information about both on the Mount Baker Ski Area Website Home Page.
Fifth, don’t drive through water flowing over roads. It only take three to six inches of fast moving water to knock you off your feet and another few inches to move vehicles as large as SUVs.
This briefing line is not updated on weekends unless an incident occurs.