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:
First, a “Small Craft Advisory" is in effect until 10:00pm this evening. West winds will switch to the southwest later dropping to 15-25 knots. Environment Canada has also issued a “Gale Warning” for the Strait of Georgia, South of Nanaimo due to northwest winds..
Second, a “Winter Storm Warning” continues for the Cascades until early Saturday morning
Whatcom County Weather
Look for continued rain into next week. Temperatures will be in the mid to upper 40s with lows dropping into the mid to upper 30s. Winds will be variable and range anywhere from the low teens to upper 20 mph range. Snow will continue in the upper elevation overnight. As we move into next week we will see the snow level rise as temperatures warm up a little.
Rivers and Streams
The Nooksack River along with small streams will increase in flow and rise with the rain that will fall over the next several days. There should be no flooding, but conditions can change so if your route of travel takes you over or near streams, always be cautious.
Coastal Weather for Whatcom County
For the Strait and Coastal Waters off Whatcom County, winds will drop a little tonight but a Small Craft Advisory will continue. Environment Canada at the moment continues with a small craft advisory but winds are expected to drop off later as well. One other thing to keep in mind is that we are expecting King Tides from November 16th through the 20th. We will see some days during this period with tides above the 10.0’ level.
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.