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
ADVISORIES, WATCHES AND WARNINGS:
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 2 AM PDT SATURDAY for west winds 15-25 knots. Where: Northern Inland Waters including the San Juan Islands.
Environment Canada has issued a "Strong Wind Warning. Wind southwest 15-20 knots diminishing to light early this afternoon except southwest 10-15 knots south of Tsawwassen. Wind becoming northwest 15-25 knots late this afternoon with gusts to 30 knots ending near midnight., Wind becoming northwest 15-20 knots overnight. Wind northwest 15-20 knots Saturday.
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. WSDOT has begun clearing the road from the winter snow and anticipates it will take 4-6 weeks to complete. There may be additional repairs to the road once it is cleared so the target for opening is likely to change. Stay tuned.
INLAND WEATHER: Even though the chance for showers exists, it appears the sun is making its presence known along the coast and north of Bellingham this morning. There is a chance for some pop up thunderstorms around the county today and even into this evening. High temperature today will be few degrees either side of 50 depending on where you are at. Lows tonight will drop into the mid 30s except for Nehalem which will be 5-10 degrees cooler today and tonight. Winds will be strongest in the Point Roberts area where they will gust up to 20 mph or a little more from the west and switch to the northwest a little later. Other areas of the county will see a south/southwest wind. Tomorrow, expect showers or rain to continue. We'll also see the snow level drop as the day goes on to 500'. The foothills may see a little accumulation but not too bad. Newhalem is expecting 1-2" both tomorrow and tomorrow night. Other parts of the county could see a rain/snow mixture. Highs tomorrow will be much like today. Winds will be from the south/southwest in the 10-15 mph range. Temperatures tomorrow night will be a little cooler. We could see lows around 27 degrees for Newhalem so it is possible for ice to form. The see saw between rain and rain/snow mixtures will continue through Sunday night and even Monday morning for Newhalem. Bottom line is there is a chance for some hazardous driving at times if the temperatures drop low enough to cause frost or any standing water to glaze over with ice.
RIVERS AND STREAMS:
Looking at the river gauges today, it appears they will not reach the level predicted yesterday. There was no flood risk and that remains the case. However, if there are any downpours from a thunderstorm, it could cause a pooling affect which cold fan out onto a road here or there, so always be on alert for that. 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 cold front moved through Western Washington early this morning. Strong onshore flow will continue through Saturday. A trough will remain over the region into early next week. Winds. Today: SW wind 5 to 15 kt becoming W 15 to 25 kt in the afternoon. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. A chance of rain in the morning then a chance of showers and a slight chance of tstms in the afternoon. Tonight: W wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. A chance of showers and a slight chance of tstms in the evening then a slight chance of rain after midnight. Tomorrow: W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. A chance of rain in the morning then showers likely and a slight chance of tstms in the afternoon. Tomorrow Night: W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. Sunday: W wind to 10 kt in the morning becoming light. Wind waves 1 ft or less. Sunday Night: S wind to 10 kt becoming E after midnight. Wind waves less than 1 ft.
Note: The winds tonight are in the "Small Craft Advisory" range. Even thought one has not been issued yet, it is likely to occur later today. Monitor marine weather as these announcements can be made anytime.
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.