Good morning. You have reached the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management Daily Briefing Line. Today is Monday, March 2nd and the time is 10:30 am.
Information about COVID-19 virus, also referred to as “coronavirus”, can be found on the Whatcom County Health Department website.
The “Proclamation of Emergency” signed by the Whatcom County Executive concerning the storms and flooding several weeks ago remains in effect at this time. Individual and businesses affected by floodwater are requested to report damages to 360.788.5311.
Advisories, Watches and Warnings:
A “Small Craft Advisory” remains in effect until 4:00 am tomorrow morning for winds from the south at 15-25 knots.
Whatcom County Weather
It looks like we’re in for another wet work week as rain is predicted for the lowlands, a rain/snow mixture at intermediate elevations, and snow above that. The wind will also start to pick up today from the south and we could see gusts to 20-25 mph in the Bellingham and Blaine areas. Those winds will expand farther east tonight and Sumas will see gusts near 30 mph. Expect wind to continue through tomorrow night. Temperatures will be about the same as last week – jumping between lower and upper 40s. Night time lows are predicted to remain above freezing in the lowlands but as you go higher in elevation watch for Tuesday and Wednesday night when New Halem and the ski area will be below freezing levels. Standing water could also freeze.
The Nooksack River level will go up and down several times over the next week as the storm systems will dump enough moisture to affect the river level. While there is no flooding associated with these storms, if you are on or near the river, familiar sand bars or visible hazards could become submerged. Extra care is warranted.
Coastal Weather for Whatcom County
The Coastal and Inland waters of Whatcom County will see several “Small Craft Advisories” issued over the next few days. Winds today are from the southeast at 15-25 knots. They will drop tomorrow to 10-20 knots before climbing again to 15-25 knots continuing into Wednesday morning. Wind waves will be two to four feet with these stronger winds.
For the tides, today was the last day of King Tides for awhile. Otherwise, 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. Do not go around signs or barriers; they are there for your protection and going a different route will only cost you a little bit of time.
This briefing line is not updated on weekends unless an incident occurs.