West Texas Mesonet Freeze Map

The above image was produced by Texas Tech University from the West Texas Mesonet depicting our recent low tempuratures on the South Plains, the coldest this season so far!  Winter is on the way folks!

The National Weather Service urges folks to be prepared for hazardous winter weather, especially with a strengthening El Nino pattern. Every year, here in west Texas we get hit by at least one winter storm. This season we likely could see more ice and snow due to El Nino.

The National Weather Service says that each year, an average of 41 people across the country die due to winter weather and dozens of fatalities due to exposure to cold. Add in vehicle accidents and fatalities, and winter can be potentially very deadly.

This year the NWS is starting a series of service announcements to broadcast over NOAA Weather Radios. Jody James, the Warning Coordinator Meteorologist said “We’re going to run a series of audio messages on the weather radio, talking about safety tips, winter weather, maybe a little bit about El Nino and just get folks up to speed on what we can expect this winter and how to be prepared for that”.

The NWS plans start broadcasting the messages by the end of the this week. They’ll run 10 to 15 minutes, and last through mid-December.  He also recommended that folks who don’t have a weather radio get one, to have an extra alert to winter storm warnings.

He says earlier it appeared like El Nino was dying out, but he says now that does not seem to be the case. “Now, as we look at the sea surface temperatures, they’re running 1.7-degrees Celsius above normal, and if that were to hold at least for a couple more months, that means a strong El Nino and if it edges up a little more, we could even be looking at a very strong or extreme event”.

He encourages folks to prepare their homes with extra food and water. He also says people should prepare their cars with a winter survival kit.

Jody says even if we just receive average precipitation, it could still catch people off guard because we’ve seen so little in the past two winters. “Our average snowfall here in Lubbock is about 10.5 inches, and I think even if we saw that, especially if it came in one or two storms, it would be a change, because you kind of get used to the pattern we’ve been in”.

Tomorrow I’ll be posting some tips on winter weather survival!

Comment and tell me how your late fall weather has been so far!

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2 Comments to “2009 Winter will be Deadly!”

  1. Beau Dodson says:

    Last year there were over 450 deaths on icy roads. It is extremely important for people to be careful during winter weather.

    http://icyroadsafety.com/stats2008.shtml

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