Governor Inslee adjusted the indoor mask requirements yesterday (February 28th): "indoor mask requirements will be lifted as of 11:59 pm on March 11th." Masks will still be required in health care settings such as hospitals, outpatient and dental offices, long-term care settings, and correctional facilities. In addition, beginning March 1, vaccine verification for large events will no longer be required. Businesses and local governments can still choose to implement vaccination or face mask requirements for workers or customers, and school districts can still choose to have students and teachers wear masks. Federal law still requires face masks in certain settings such as public transportation and school buses. For additional information, see: https://www.governor.wa.gov/
COVID-19 - The “Proclamation of Emergency” signed by the Whatcom County Executive concerning COVID-19 remains in effect.
Sever Weather Damage 21-18 Emergency Proclamation by the Governor: Covers the severe wind and rainstorm event that began on November 12, 2021. https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/proclamations/21-18%20-%20Severe%20Weather%20Damage%20%28tmp%29.pdf
The Proclamation of Emergency for the November Flooding signed by the Whatcom County Exec remains in effect. Also, individuals affected by the flood have until March 7, 2022 to register with FEMA.
The United States has announced that fully vaccinated, non-citizen travelers with appropriate documentation will be permitted to enter the United States for non-essential travel via land Ports Of Entry and ferry terminals starting on November 8, 2021 and has released this fact sheet to assist those entering the United States. https://www.dhs.gov/news/2021/10/29/fact-sheet-guidance-travelers-enter-us-land-ports-entry-and-ferry-terminals.
Canada allows fully vaccinated Americans to visit Canada with these Canadian requirements: https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/gbi-rgf-eng.html.
ADVISORIES, WATCHES AND WARNINGS:
SR 20 Both Directions. Single-lane closure via a temporary signal on SR 20 between MP 113.7 and 114. Also, SR-20 is closed for the season at MP 134/Ross Dam Trailhead on the west side of the Cascades and MP 178 Early Winters Campground on the east side of the Cascades.
Right now there are a few breaks in the clouds here in Bellingham but that will not bet the rule for the day. We can expect showers to pickup again throughout the day with the chance of a thunderstorm mixed in. some heavy downpours can be expected to accompany the thunderstorm wherever they are located. The high temperature will be around 50 degrees with some south/southeast wind around the county with gusts near 20 mph. The wind will not be uniform throughout the county. Tonight, the chance for a thunderstorm will continue and the heavy rain associated with them cannot be ruled out. Lows will be in the upper 30s and 40s. Some wind will still be around but it will begin to taper off and gusts should be in the teens vs the 20mph range. Tomorrow, the rain chance continues with temperatures a few degrees cooler. The chance for a thunderstorm will decrease and winds will be rather light. Rain will continue into tomorrow night with lows a few degrees cooler than tonight.
Rivers and Streams
Rivers and streams have peaked with the exception of the Ferndale gauge which show the Nooksack River level will peak sometime tonight a couple feet higher than it is right now but still well below any action level or concern. With the possibility of heavy downpours from a thunderstorm here or there, be careful in low areas where streams may be temporarily overwhelmed and water exceeds the banks for short periods. If encountering a situation like this, turn around and find an alternate route.
Whatcom County Coastal Weather
Seas will subside under 10 feet this morning. Meanwhile, low pressure just offshore today and Wednesday will weaken and move ashore on Thursday. Onshore flow will follow on Friday. Winds. Today: S wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. Rain likely. Tonight: SE wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. Showers likely and a slight chance of tstms. Tomorrow: SE wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less. Rain likely. Tomorrow Night: Light wind. Wind waves less than 1 ft.
Emergency Management Tips and Reminders
Winter travel can be extremely dangerous. Cold temperatures, snow, ice are only a few of the hazards you can encounter when traveling in the the Winter. Some of the things you should consider are as follows:
Have your car checked to make sure all parts are in good working order. Tires should have good tread, all lights should be working, and windshield wipers should be changed if they do not provide a clean sweep of moisture on the windshield.
If there is snow on your vehicle, clean as much snow off your vehicle as possible. Windows should be completely clean for maximum visibility. Snow left on the hood of your vehicle can blow across your windshield and fog or cloud up inside due to the temperature change (another reason to clean all snow off your vehicle). Headlights, brake lights, direction lights, etc. should all be clean again to make other drivers see you and know your intentions.
Make sure you have a Winter Safety Kit in you car that contains: flashlight with extra batteries, cell phone and charger, extra blanket and clothes, high-energy food and water, games to keep children occupied, small shovel, sand or mat for traction if you encounter icy conditions, among other things deemed necessary.
If you are running your car to remain warm, remember to leave a window open to prevent a build-up of carbon monoxide.
Before leaving on a trip, call ahead and let someone know the time you are departing and your route of travel. Likewise, upon arrival at your destination, let contact know you have arrived.
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.