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.
The U.S. and Canada have extended an order closing their shared border to nonessential traffic. The move delays the border’s reopening by another 30 days, until at least November 21, 2020. This includes both vehicular traffic as well as recreational boating between the countries.
The “Proclamation of Emergency” signed by the Whatcom County Executive concerning COVID-19 remains in effect. Information about Whatcom County’s response to COVID-19 is available at the Joint Information Center’s COVID-19 website.
Whatcom County is in Phase 2 of the Washington Safe Start Plan. Highlights of this phase include: social distancing, wearing a mask, and limiting the size of groups are the guidelines of Phase 2. More info about Phase 2 in Whatcom County can be found here, and updates can be found here.
Washington state has implemented a cloth mask mandate requiring the wearing of a mask in public indoors and wherever a social distance of six feet cannot be maintained outdoors. More info can be found here and here.
Advisories, Watches and Warnings:
There are no Advisories, Watches, or Warnings at this time. However, winds are expected to pickup after midnight for the coastal waters after midnight so a "Small Craft Advisory" may be issued later for that timeframe.
Whatcom County Weather
Scattered rain showers will taper off later today accompanied by falling temperatures. We should get up to the mid-50s before things turn around and begin to fall. Lows tonight will drop down to the low 40s in the lowlands and the mid-30s in the foothills. Tomorrow we will see sun with highs about five degrees cooler and Saturday will be another five degrees cooler than Friday but still mostly sunny.
Rivers and Streams
Looking at the Nooksack River, there is no question it is rising and will continue to rise in the Ferndale area for the next 12-18 hours. Check the Whatcom County Public Works “Road Closures and Restrictions”-Weather Related” page for any road closures. And, always be on the lookout for water on or over the road in low areas. The ground is becoming pretty saturated which means water has to go somewhere and pooling is one of those options.
Coastal Weather for Whatcom County
The “Small Craft Advisory expired earlier this morning and now we’re seeing southwest winds in the 10-20 knot range. Wind waves will be in the one to three foot range. Winds are expected to pickup again after midnight to the 15-25 knot range so watch for another “Small Craft Advisory” to be issued.
Here are a few emergency management reminders:
COVID-19: Everyone in Washington State, including Whatcom County, is directed to wear a face covering while at any indoor public space and any outdoor public space where you may be within 6 feet of someone who does not live with you. You can find more info about face coverings and other protective actions here and here.
If you haven't put your Winter Emergency kit in your car, now is the time to do so. Having an extra blanket, flashlight, small shovel, food and water are just a few of the items you should consider placing in your kit. The Washington State Department of Transportation has a list of items that you should consider having in your emergency kit.
Check your windshield wipers now and replace them if they are frayed, leave streaks, or not able to remove water from your windshield. Your safety and the safety of others depends on your ability to clearly see the road and other traffic on the road.
Make sure you turn your lights on during time of reduced visibility; this includes dusk, twilight, fog, and rain. The more you make yourself visible, the less chance of an accident.
Do not attempt to drive through water flowing over the road or even water standing on the road. Flowing water can move vehicles in as little as six inches of water and even SUVs cannot escape the force of flowing water. Likewise, driving through standing water while guessing where the road is could result in veering off the road. By going a different route, you may lose ten or fifteen minutes, but you will arrive safe.
Frost on roads and bridges can occur anytime. Colder temperatures at higher elevations can cause frost or black ice to form on roads and bridges. Wind can create wind chills that drop temperatures below freezing.
Scrape the ice and snow from all the windows on your vehicle. And if you have snow on the hood, remove that to. Snow blowing across a warm windshield will cause condensation and restrict your visibility.
This briefing line is not updated on weekends unless an incident occurs.