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:
Environment Canada has issued a "Strong Wind Warning in Effect" for the Strait of Georgia-South of Nanaimo: Wind light increasing to northwest 10 to 15 knots early this morning and to northwest 15 to 25 late this morning. Wind becoming northwest 15 this afternoon then increasing to northwest 20 to 30 early this evening. Wind diminishing to northwest 15 to 20 overnight and to northwest 10 to 15 Thursday morning. Wind increasing to northwest 15 to 20 Thursday evening.Special Weather Statement from the NWS: After an unusually cool and wet spring, a rapid warm-up is expected late this week, with temperatures peaking Saturday through Monday across western Washington. Most lowland and mountain valley locations will see temperatures peaking in the80s to around 90 degrees by Sunday. Area rivers continue to run high as a result of the cool and wet spring and water temperatures are running generally between 40-50 degrees. The combination of these factors significantly increases the concern for cold and or high water-related incidents. Cold water shock and hypothermia can quickly result in death during these early season heat events. Use extreme caution if recreating near water, wear a life jacket, and keep a close eye on children.
Special Weather Statement from the NWS: After an unusually cool and wet spring, a rapid warm-up is expected late this week, with temperatures peaking Saturday through Monday across western Washington. Most lowland and mountain valley locations will see temperatures peaking in the80s to around 90 degrees by Sunday. Area rivers continue to run high as a result of the cool and wet spring and water temperatures are running generally between 40-50 degrees. The combination of these factors significantly increases the concern for cold and or high water-related incidents. Cold water shock and hypothermia can quickly result in death during these early season heat events. Use extreme caution if recreating near water, wear a life jacket, and keep a close eye on children.
SR-20 (North Cascade Highway) is open; however, there are several areas that will need to have emergency repairs this spring/summer/fall. Traffic control lights are placed at those locations. Long delays should be expected especially over long weekends and holidays. In addition to emergency repairs there are areas where normal road maintenance is scheduled along with several culvert replacements for fish passage. Check WSDOT website for current conditions before traveling.
Inland Whatcom County Weather
Today is shaping to be an outstanding weather day with the high temperature ranging between 65-70 degrees under mostly sunny skies and light winds from the west/southwest at 10 mph. Point Roberts will still see some northwest winds today gusting to 23 mph or do. The low tonight will drop to around 50 degrees or within a whisker of that. Then we begin a warmup with high temperatures reaching into the mid to upper 70s on Friday with mid-80s and perhaps even a 90 degree reading in Maple Falls on Sunday and Monday. All of this will occur under clear blue skies with not much wind. As the temperatures rise, key things to help acclimate include slowing down, taking more breaks, and change your schedule slightly to take advantage of cooler temperatures in early morning and later in the day.
Rivers and Streams
No dramatic changes in the Nooksack River level for this week; however, the warmer temperatures over the weekend will cause the flow to be a little greater and raising the river level a little bit. The biggest concern would be the Nooksack River temperature as the snowmelt will keep the river water very cold. Be very careful if planning any activity in the water as hypothermia can occur quickly. 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
High pressure offshore and lower pressure east of the Cascades will continue to produce onshore flow today. The flow will transition to offshore over the weekend as thermally induced low pressure expands northward along the coast. Onshore flow will resume early next week as the thermal trough shifts inland. Winds. TODAY W wind 10 to 20 kt becoming NW 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. TONIGHT W wind 5 to 15 kt becoming 10 to 20 kt after midnight. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. FRI NW wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. FRI NIGHT W wind to 10 kt becoming N after midnight. Wind waves 1 ft or less.
Emergency Management Tips and Reminders
While we have been extremely fortunate concerning the risk for wildfire to date, things could change rapidly with dry, hot weather. Now is the time to inventory your home environment to see what wildfire risks you can mitigate against. To that extent, the following information was taken from the National Fire Protection Agency on wildfire preparedness. Additional information about the wildfires and the Firewise program can be found at the NFPA website: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Wildfire/Preparing-homes-for-wildfire
1. HOME IGNITION ZONES: To increase your home’s chance of surviving a wildfire, choose fire-resistant building materials and limit the amount of flammable vegetation in the three home ignition zones. The zones include the Immediate Zone: (0 to 5 feet around the house), the Intermediate Zone (5 to 30 feet), and the Extended Zone (30 to 100 feet).
2. LANDSCAPING AND MAINTENANCE: To reduce ember ignitions and fire spread, trim branches that overhang the home, porch, and deck and prune branches of large trees up to 6 to 10 feet (depending on their height) from the ground. Remove plants containing resins, oils, and waxes. Use crushed stone or gravel instead of flammable mulches in the Immediate Zone (0 to 5 feet around the house). Keep your landscape in good condition.
3. ROOFING AND VENTS: Class A fire-rated roofing products, such as composite shingles, metal, concrete, and clay tiles, offer the best protection. Inspect shingles or roof tiles and replace or repair those that are loose or missing to prevent ember penetration. Box in eaves, but provide ventilation to prevent condensation and mildew. Roof and attic vents should be screened to prevent ember entry.
4. DECKS AND PORCHES: Never store flammable materials underneath decks or porches. Remove dead vegetation and debris from under decks and porches and between deck board joints.
5. SIDING AND WINDOWS: Embers can collect in small nooks and crannies and ignite combustible materials; radiant heat from flames can crack windows. Use fire-resistant siding such as brick, fibercement, plaster, or stucco, and use dual-pane tempered glass windows.
6. EMERGENCY RESPONDER ACCESS: Ensure your home and neighborhood have legible and clearly marked street names and numbers. Driveways should be at least 12 feet wide with a vertical clearance of 15 feet for emergency vehicle access.
7. FINAL THOUGHTS:
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.