Preparing for the arrival of winter
by National Weather Service
September 27, 2011
The National Weather Service and local emergency management agencies are gearing up for the winter of 2011-2012, and are encouraging Wyoming residents to use Winter Weather Awareness Day on Wednesday, October 5, to do the same. This day serves as an excellent opportunity for individuals, families, businesses, schools, and media outlets to develop and review their winter preparedness plans as well as familiarize themselves with the hazards associated with winter weather. Businesses, schools and local, state, and federal government agencies should use this awareness day to test their winter weather safety procedures.
While it is impossible to determine exactly what this winter will bring, indications point to the possibility of La Niña conditions once again this winter. During the winter of 2010-2011 these conditions may have played a role in creating the unprecedented snowpack that led to widespread flooding this past spring. Wyomingites are encouraged to stay tuned to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center’s seasonal outlooks for information on the upcoming winter.
Rapidly evolving weather patterns during October can frequently provide warm and sunny conditions that give way to cold and snowy conditions a day, or even hours later. "Quick-hitting, early season storms can alter a weekend of hunting or hiking if people are not prepared for winter conditions," said Chris Jones, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the Riverton National Weather Service office. "Hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts should check the forecasts frequently in the days leading up to a trip. It is also a good idea to have at least one other person know of your travel plans." Jones added that meteorologists at the Riverton office are available to answer forecast or general weather questions 24/7 via the office’s Facebook page or by calling 1-800-211-1448.
Residents are advised to make plans to winterize their vehicles and equip them with an emergency preparedness kit. People should also be prepared to delay travel plans if conditions warrant. As a reminder if you become stranded, remain with your vehicle as it is the only certain source of protection from the elements. Become aware of upcoming hazardous winter weather by frequently checking the weather forecast and by using the theme, "Ready, Set, Go."
Ready – Start preparations early by monitoring National Weather Service Hazardous Weather Outlooks seven days in advance. Potential hazardous winter weather will be outlined along with any uncertainty in the forecast.
Set - As confidence increases, watches will be issued to give you a heads up that you need to be prepared for the possibility of hazardous winter weather within the next 12 to 48 hours.
Go – Warnings and advisories will be issued when the National Weather Service is confident that a storm is or will soon produce hazardous winter weather. Take action if you are to be impacted by the extreme winter conditions.
For more information about Wyoming Winter Weather Awareness week, visit the National Weather Service website at http://www.weather.gov/riw/?n=wwwad