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 continues to make incremental changes as they lift restrictions as they relate to COVID border crossing restrictions. See https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/gbi-rgf-eng.html for additional information.
ADVISORIES, WATCHES AND WARNINGS:
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 3 AM PDT THURSDAY for west winds 20-30 knots. Where: East Entrance U. S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca, Northern Inland Waters Including The San Juan Islands, West Entrance U. S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca, Central U. S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca and Admiralty Inlet.
Environment Canada has issued a "Strong Wind Warning" for the Strait of Georgia-South of Nanaimo - Wind southeast 5 to 15 knots increasing to northwest 20 to 25 early this afternoon then diminishing to northwest 15 to 20 late this afternoon. Wind diminishing to northwest 5 to 15 near midnight then becoming east 5 to 15 Thursday morning. Wind becoming northwest 5 to 15 near noon Thursday.
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.
Looks like we can expect some fog and rain today with highs in the low to mid 50s. While there won't be any strong wind in the inland areas, Point Roberts can expect some south/southwest winds switching to a west/northwest direction later and gusts in the mid-20 mph range and a little stronger this evening. The rest of the county can expect south/southeast winds in the 10-15 mph range. Lows tonight will drop into the mid to upper 30s but Newhalem should expect lows around 30 degrees. The snow level will drop from the 3800' level to around 1500' after midnight. Precipitation will stop overnight and then we're in for a mostly cloudy to all clouds Thursday and Friday. A new round of moisture works it's way into the area Friday night. Temperatures will stay in the low to mid-50s with lows in the upper 30s.
Rivers and Streams
The Nooksack River and other streams will rise a little over the next week due to several fronts pushing through. None of the fronts will drop enough moisture to cause any concern as far as flooding but the levels will rise a little and the velocity will increase as well. The key is to be prepared for these changes if you're on or near the river and not caught off-guard. Remember, you can always go to the Public Works website and check the river levels - https://www.whatcomcounty.us/666/Forecasts-Current-River-Conditions.
Whatcom County Coastal Weather
A weak cold front will cross the waters today followed by high pressure building in its wake Thursday into Friday. Another front will arrive over the weekend. Winds. Today: SE wind 5 to 15 kt becoming SW 15 to 25 kt in the afternoon. Wind waves 2 ft or less building to 2 to 4 ft in the afternoon. Areas of fog in the morning. A chance of rain in the morning then rain in the afternoon. Tonight: W wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. Tomorrow: E wind 10 to 20 kt becoming N 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. Areas of fog in the morning. Tomorrow Night: NW wind 5 to 15 kt becoming N after midnight. Wind waves 2 ft or less. Tide Information
Emergency Management Tips and Reminders
While we are starting to come out of winter, it's important to remember, the weather at lower elevations is not what you will experience at the 5000-6000' levels. Temperatures difference of 10-15 degrees or more can result in heavy rain in the lowlands and heavy snow in the upper elevations or crossing the passes. As we cross into April and May the chances for that continue to drop but a stray weather system can still result in hazardous driving conditions. With that in mind continue to be diligent. Things to be aware of:
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.