Incident Hotline

Tuesday, November 20, 2018 

Active Alerts

There are no watches, warnings or advisories at this time.

Note:  Active Alerts are subject to change and conditions may be different than stated here. 

Whatcom County Weather

Patchy fog can be found throughout the county this morning. This will burn off as the day progresses and we will see partly sunny skies for the most part in the lower elevations of Whatcom County. The Mount Baker Ski and NewHalem areas will see mostly sunny skies. Temperatures will be around 50 degrees for highs and 40 for lows.  Higher elevations will  be in the mid 30s.  As we move into the evening we'll see increasing clouds with showers developing. A steady rain will be with us into Saturday. During this period, high temperatures will continue to be around the 50 degree mark with lows around 40 degrees. If you plan to go to the higher elevations like the ski area, you can expect a rain/snow mixture into Wednesday night when it will switch over to all snow. You could see around a foot of snow or more in the ski area with greater amounts forecast at the higher elevations.

Whatcom County Coastal Weather

For Coastal Whatcom County winds will be strongest around the Bellingham area today where we could see gusts reaching 20 mph from time to time. Tonight winds will start out around 10 knots and  increase  to 10-20 knots. Tomorrow, winds will increase again to 20-30 knots with wind waves of 3-5 feet. In all likelihood, a small craft  advisory will probably be on Thursday perhaps 25-35 knots. Continue to check Marine weather for additional changes over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Emergency Preparedness

Expect unsettled weather to be with us over the next month or so. There will be periods of rain, wind, sun and at higher elevations snow. We need to be prepared for all of the above because it can change rapidly. Also, be aware of wind chill. So far, temperatures have stayed in the high 40s or low 50s. However, add wind to those temperatures and it will feel much colder. If you are wet the effects will be even worse. Always plan to have extra clothing or blankets along in your vehicle in case you get stranded. Here are a few other things to keep in mind.

-Expect periods of fog in the early morning at late hours of each day as temperatures cross through the dew point.

-Increased rainfall will saturate the ground increasing the chances of flooding even with minor amounts of precipitation.

-Rivers and streams can rise and fall quickly. Water flowing across the roads can knock a person off their feet and even sweep away larger vehicles like SUVs.

-Water pooling on roads can increase the chances of hydroplaning and losing control of your vehicle.

-Leaves and debris can prevent water from draining properly causing backups in low areas.

-And, heavier rainfall can increase erosion and lead to mud or rockslides.

Stay in front of the weather by listening to the forecast for anything that may cause problems while you’re traveling. Check the Washington State Department of Transportation website for information about mountain passes if you’re traveling over them, especially crossing the Cascades. One mountain pass may have snow and require chains, while the other may not be affected at all.

Remember, think safety and be prepared!

Contact: Wallace Kost, 360.788.5305, Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management