If the News Media can ever make up its mind it looks like we are staring at a snow fall/blizzard from two inches to a possible two foot (depending how desperate the news station is for ratings.) Now I am certain we are going to get snow, I don’t think it will be to the truly epic proportions that some TV weather forecasters are promising us, but it is going to be a weather event Remember snow is snow and as the drivers around DC demonstrated with the sprinkle that hit us Wednesday night, it is not to be taken lightly to move around in, and even one inch can significantly impact you.
[UPDATE 01/22/2016] The incoming winter storm has a name ‘Jonas.’ Weather.com has predicted snowfall will begin on or around 5pm, if you have any last-minute snow/life errands to run try to get them done as quick as you can. Because the snowfall times are falling back I suspect this storm is moving faster than they expect and we might see earlier snow fall around 2pm. Take you time driving home if your are caught in the snow during rush hour, that extra five minutes may just save your life, or someone elses. Blizzard conditions are not set to start until 10pm, be off the roads well before that time and buttoned up. Should be an interesting weekend, eh?
[UPDATE 01/21/2016] The forecast on Weather.com gives a clearer picture of what we will be expecting over Friday and Saturday. Right now significant snow fall isn’t going to happen until 7-8pm Friday and will continue through Saturday. Predicted inches are 8-12″ which I find more believable than the Local News Station Weather Forecasters predictions of 18-24″, although if this is powdery snow it will drift to those depths in exposed areas. Be aware the National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Warning for Maryland and it will come into effect from 6pm Friday, running through to 6am Sunday. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has declared a State Of Emergency which will come into effect 7am Friday and will run until this weather event has finished its cycle. Make no mistake snow is coming, it will be a heavy fall, please be prepared.
For some reason when I write a weather related blog post it does really well. Why anyone would turn to a local writer for advice during these weather events I do not know, I guess it is because I concentrate on the facts, not the sensationalism of a weather event. I hope some of what I post as a guide to getting through these events helps. So, to keep in line with my semi-relevant public awareness posts if we experience a snow day consider the following.
- Keep pets inside, especially your cat!
- After walking your dog clean their paws of snow, it gets packed in there and causes them discomfort
- Dress warmly and in layers
- Download all my stories that are available to read on your eReader device; you can view my books here; my comics here
- Do not travel unless you really, really have too
- If you are driving and it is snowing leave plenty of space between you and the other car – you will slide even if you are in a 4×4 vehicle. I recommend gentle acceleration and plan your stopping distances when ever possible
- If you have to shovel, shovel with the snow storm and clear your path every hour (if you have kids it will give them something to do when Xfinity/Comcast services inevitable conk out)
- If you cannot get salt to put down, use kitty litter instead
- Get a sled, locate a hill/slope within walking distance, wait until the snow stops and go sledding (let’s go exploring!)
- Monitor your local weather channel throughout this weather event
- Get a battery radio in case of power outage, you will lose cellphone reception before you lose an old-fashioned battery radio signal. Cellphone towers do have generators in case of outages, but run times will be limited.
- NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards broadcasts on one of seven VHF frequencies from 162.400 MHz to 162.550 MHz.
- Fill up containers with water in case you lose this utility to freezing pipes. Guidelines state you need one gallon per person per a day, store them in the bathtub
- Pick up non-perishable food ie; canned goods or hydrated food (Rama noodles) enough to last 2-3 days
- Keep at least a half tank of gas in your vehicle.
- Pack an evacuation bag (one for each person in your house) make sure everyone in your household knows what to do
- Unclog drains and gutters, it will help the thaw water drain faster and make your home less prone to flooding
- If you see a Mammoth wandering down the street remember it is an awesome selfie opportunity
- If you are in Maryland here is the link to Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).
- The Weather Channel Severe Weather Alerts broke down by county/city can be found here – Bookmark as it is constantly updated and provides a reliable forecast to plan accordingly from.
I recommend caution in the face of any possible major weather event, it pays to be prepared, informed and safe.