Today, December 21st, may mark the official start of winter, but weather experts still can’t seem to agree on what we can all expect. Some, like The Farmer’s Almanac, are saying that it’s going to be a “teeth-chattering,” cold one with plenty of snow. Others, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, believe El Niño conditions will result in a warmer than average winter across the U.S. So, who’s right and who’s wrong? Who knows?
One thing is for certain though—winter can be brutal across the country. Portions of the Northeast can receive feet (upon feet) of snow. The Midwest can get locked in a deep freeze that last for days, or even weeks. And, then there’s the Deep South, where just a little of ice and snow can bring most everything to a screeching halt. Not to mention, the risk of ice storms, which can leave people without power for extended periods of time.
For many, there’s even the risk of tornadoes. Yes, tornadoes. In fact, and according to The Weather Channel, deadly tornadoes have occurred in January in five of the past 10 years through 2016. There was a severe weather outbreak that spawned 81 tornadoes and claimed 20 lives in the Southeast, specifically Georgia, in 2017 alone.
Now, there’s even talk of another “polar vortex.” According to the National Weather Service, “The polar vortex is a large area of low pressure and cold air surrounding both of the Earth’s poles. Many times, during winter in the northern hemisphere, the polar vortex will expand, sending cold air southward with the jet stream. This is often associated with large outbreaks of Arctic air in the United States.” So, look out, it may be a lot colder than usual this winter season.”
With fickle forecasts for this winter season, the best thing we can do as individuals, businesses, schools, and government agencies is to get—and stay—prepared. To help you along, check out the following websites for checklists, recommendations, driving tips and more.
And, remember, it’s just 89 days until Spring officially begins on March 20, 2019!