The National Weather Service in Seattle has posted a Gale Warning, starting at 10 a.m., today, Tuesday, December 31 and lasting until 4 a.m. on Wednesday, January 1. Winds will build from the south throughout the day and shift to the southwest tonight. Sustained winds are predicted to be in the 30-40 knot range with gusts to 45-50 knots later this afternoon. Winds should peak between 1 and 6 p.m. Coastal areas of Whatcom County will be effected by the strongest winds, including Lummi Island, the Lummi peninsula, Sandy Point, Cherry Point, Drayton Harbor and Point Roberts.
Environment Canada has not issued gale warnings for the Strait of Georgia south of Naniamo yet.
Operating a vessel during gale conditions requires experience and properly equipped vessels. Mariners without proper experience should seek safe harbor prior to onset of gale conditions.
Coastal communities in Whatcom County should see tidal effects, however, high tides including storm surge should not exceed 10 feet.
There is also a high wind warning in effect from at 10 a.m., today, Tuesday, December 31 and lasting until 4 a.m. on Wednesday, January 1 for primarily south winds of 15-25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph. Sumas, Ferndale and Bellingham should have the strongest winds during this time. South winds are predicted to increase to 20 to 35 mph with gusts up to 45 mph late Tuesday morning through early Wednesday.
During these warnings, it is important to note that these winds could cause downed trees and power outages.