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Preparedness encouraged for the upcoming winter season

Sep 28, 2013 - From staff reports

The National Weather Service plans to host a test of emergency communications.

The National Weather Service and emergency management agencies around Wyoming are urging residents to use Winter Weather Awareness Day on Wednesday to prepare homes and vehicles for winter.

Businesses, schools, and media outlets should also review winter preparedness, safety and communication plans to be ready for the hazards associated with winter weather.

The NWS plans to host a test of emergency communications with social media.

"Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are enabling us to quickly reach a wide spectrum of customers," said Chris Jones, warning coordination meteorologist at the Riverton NWS office. "We plan to encourage our friends and followers to share our test message with others, just like they might do with a blizzard warning. When friends and family share this information it often times is more likely to spur people into action."

Jones added that October usually provides the first taste of winter for most parts of the state. He advised that hunters and people traveling across the state for high school sports should always check the weather forecast and be prepared for dramatic weather changes.

"A stretch of 70 degree days can change to snow and freezing temperatures when a cold front sweeps south through the state," he said.

Forecasters at the Riverton NWS office are available anytime to answer weather forecast questions by calling 1-800-211-1448.

Forecast

Early indications show a slightly above normal chance for warmer than average temperatures across Wyoming this winter.

As for precipitation, the best chance for above normal snowfall will be across the northwest portion of the state. The remainder of Wyoming is trending toward climatological precipitation averages. Global circulation patterns, trends, and climate prediction models all factor into the seasonal forecasts produced by the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center. The official NOAA winter outlook will be released Oct. 17.

Creating an emergency preparedness kit for the home, business and vehicle is an essential part of getting ready for winter. Extra water, non-perishable food, blankets, essential medications, a flashlight and matches are just a few of the items that should be a part of every kit. Residents should also winterize their vehicles in advance of the winter season.

For more information about Wyoming Winter Weather Awareness week, visit the National Weather Service website at http://www.weather.gov/riw/?n=wwwad.

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