house covered in snow

What You Need to Know About Winter 2020

Winter is almost here and like that ominous line from that well-known series, it implores you to prepare. With all the surprises 2020 has brought, it will be wise to try and take in as much information as you can about the coming season to better prepare for it.

Here are a few important points from the forecast of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center and how it may affect your location.

General Points

The winter season will officially start on December 21. Because of the ongoing La Niña, the southern parts of the country will experience a hotter and drier than usual winter, while the northern states will get a wetter and colder season.

There is also an ongoing drought across some US states, particularly the western parts of the country. This is a result of a weak Southwest summer monsoon season with exceptionally high temperatures. Parts of the Northeast, Ohio Valley, Alaska, and Hawaii are also likely to continue experiencing droughts.

La Niña

According to AccuWeather, La Niña is defined as a phenomenon where the water in the Pacific Ocean, specifically near the equator, is colder than usual. This is the opposite of El Niño where the water there is warmer. These phenomena significantly influence worldwide weather patterns. In early September, NOAA reported the development of La Niña.

Because of La Niña, this year’s winter season is said to be bookended by snowy and cold conditions with a milder middle part of the season.

Winter Tips

snow removal

So how do all those points mentioned above affect the day-to-day activities in your location? Here are a few essential tips to get you through this year’s winter season.

  • Extra Safety Measures – it is long-believed that winter is flu season in the Northern Hemisphere. This is attributed to two reasons: more time spent in sealed, indoor environments, and less exposure to sunlight which causes problems in the immune system. Now that the threat of the pandemic is added to the mix, people need to take extra care.
  • Winter Hygiene – no, this doesn’t only refer to how one should still wash up or change underwear. Apart from those essentials, it’s also important to maintain your area. This means snow removal when necessary, salting the roads and sidewalks, etc. Although there’s relatively fewer people or vehicles outside, it’s always better to be safe than the alternative. This is particularly important when you have a business with a physical store.
  • Emergency Kits – Wherever you are in the US, it’s always a good idea to have the appropriate emergency kit for your situation. Those in the colder, snowier locations these suggestions from The Old Farmer’s Almanac for your car and Family Handyman for your home will help. Elsewhere, winter storms are a possibility so emergency storm kits are also recommended.

Conclusions

There are so many considerations for this coming winter, mainly because of the current situation of the country. It’s important that you get all the information you can so you can prepare well. Stay up to date with weather developments, and follow the tips mentioned here and you should be fine.

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