On August 18th, Governor Inslee ordered a statewide mask mandate. Please see the Governor's website at the following URL: https://www.governor.wa.gov/
COVID-19 - The “Proclamation of Emergency” signed by the Whatcom County Executive concerning COVID-19 remains in effect.
UPDATE: The U.S. side of the Canadian border will open to vaccinated Canadians starting in early November (https://www.dhs.gov/news/2021/10/12/secretary-mayorkas-allow-fully-vaccinated-travelers-canada-and-mexico-enter-us-land#), however until the official date is announced, the U.S. border remains closed to nonessential traffic. Canada allows fully vaccinated Americans to visit Canada however, there are several additional requirements you need to be aware of. See Canada Border Services Agency for additional requirements: https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/gbi-rgf-eng.html.
The National Weather Service has issued a "Flood Watch " from noon today through late tonight for Whatcom County. ":Moderate to heavy rain through Friday morning will drive many rivers in the north and central Cascades and Olympic Peninsula to near flood stage, with a few possibly exceeding minor or moderate flood state as early as this afternoon."
The National Weather Service has also stated, "heavy rainfall rates will increase the threat for landslides across the region through Friday morning."
Environment Canada has issued a "Strong Wind Warning for the Strait of Georgia-South of Nanaimo. Wind east at 10-20 knots diminishing to light near noon then increasing to northwest 10-15 knots this afternoon. Wind increasing to northwest 15-25 knots early this evening and to northwest 30 knots later overnight. Wind diminishing to northwest 10-20 knots Friday evening.
See the Washington State Department of Transportation website for intermittent lane closures on i-5 and SR-11 along Interstate 5 at milepost 250 near Old Fairhaven Parkway and along State Route 11 just west of I-5. This will go from October 20 through November 30.
Moderate to heavy rain will continue in the foothills and higher elevations today with the higher accumulations predicted in the Newhalem area where one to two inches of rain could fall today and again tonight. Most of that rain will drain into the Skagit River. However, amounts close to that are predicted for areas such as the Mount Baker Ski Resort area which will drain into the Nooksack River basin and drive up river levels substantially higher than what they are at the moment. Temperatures will be in the mid-50s (most areas) for highs with lows n the low 40s. The exceptions are the higher elevations where there could be some upper 30s. North/northwest winds will also occur along the coast and Point Roberts. Point Roberts will likely see gusts near 25 mph today and near 45 mph tomorrow night; the rest of the coastal areas could see a gust or two tonight near 30 mph. Once the rain clears out (looks like early tomorrow morning) we may see some sun in parts of the county with temperatures still in the mid-50s. Tomorrow night, under clear skies, there's likely to be lows in the upper 30s. On Saturday and Sunday we should see mostly clear skies. The next chance for rain arrives Monday.
NOTE. If you encounter downed wires, treat them as if they are live. Do not attempt to cross them; turn around and find an alternative route. For power outages, do not call 911; notify PSE.
Rivers and Streams
With the bout of rain overnight, small streams are already rising and there has been some water backing up on the roads in lower areas due to drains being plugged with leaves. As more water drains into the Nooksack River system, it to will start to rise rapidly. We remain in a cone of uncertainty as to how high the river will actually get. The Northwest River Forecast Center has the Nooksack just crossing over the minor flooding threshold later today and into early tomorrow. The point is, if you're traveling on roads near the river that are in lower areas, it is possible you may not be able to use the same road for a round trip; know what alternate road you would have to use to travel to reach your destination. If you see a "Road Closed" or "Detour" sign with water over the road, turn around. Check the Whatcom County Public Works website for road closure or restriction information.
A front will move through the area today for increasing winds. High pressure will then build over the waters with low level offshore flow expected over the weekend. Winds. Today: NE wind 5-15 knots becoming 10-20 knots in the afternoon. Wind waves 1-3'. Rain. Tonight: NW wind 10-20 knots rising to 15-25 knots after midnight. Wind waves 2-4'. Rain in the evening then a chance of rain after midnight. Tomorrow: NW wind 20-30 knots easing to 15-25 knots in the afternoon. Wind waves 3-5'. A slight chance of rain in the morning. Tomorrow Night: NW wind 15-25 knots becoming NE 10-20 knots after midnight. Note. At this time there is no "Small Craft Advisory" issued for winds 15-25 knots; however, experience has shown that the National Weather Service is likely to issue one later today. Tune to marine weather to ensure you get the latest weather updates including advisories, watches, or warnings.
Emergency Management Tips and Reminders
While this is a great time of year, everyone needs to be prepared in the event they find that their planned weekend in the woods does not go the way they intended, and here are a few tips:
Back Country Medical Kit
You definitely need to carry a first aid kit, and for most people and most injuries the following is a good place to start when you are going out in the back country even for a day. There are lots of good sources on the Internet to find kits but the following list is primarily centered around patching cuts and cleaning wounds in an emergency:
Back Country Preparedness Kit
As with your first aid kit, there are lots of good sources on the Internet to find kits and the following suggestions are a good place to start, especially if you are going into the foothills and mountains in our area:
Both the medical and preparedness items listed here are considered to be the minimum a person should take with them. They are not intended to be the only things or to suggest that you do not need anything else. You can find good information locally at:
Information concerning face coverings and other protective actions can be found on the Whatcom County Health Department Website.
These Daily Briefings on Incidents, Advisories, Watches and Warnings, current weather and Emergency Management tips are published Monday through Friday, as well as during times of increased awareness or actual events.