National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Fall Weather Pattern Arrives

Rain and much cooler temperatures behind a cold front will bring a feeling of fall to the east coast today. In addition, an active fall storm pattern developing in the Pacific Northwest this week will bring areas of heavy rains, and very high elevations could receive heavy snow. Wetting rains to the valley floors will spread south Thu and Fri into northern California,where active fires continue. Read More >

Overview Types of Winter Weather Stay Informed Be Prepared When caught in a storm

Be prepared, before the storm strikes!

At home and at work:

Primary concerns are the potential loss of heat, power, telephone service and a shortage of supplies if storm conditions persist. You should have available:

  • A flashlight and extra batteries.
  • Battery-powered NOAA weather radio and portable radio to receive emergency information. These may be your only links to the outside.
  • Extra food and water. High-energy food, such as dried fruit or candy, and food requiring no cooking or refrigeration is best.
  • Extra medicine and baby items.
  • First aid supplies.
  • Heating fuel. Refuel before you are empty. Fuel carriers may not reach you for days after a severe winter storm.
  • Emergency heating source such as a fireplace, wood stove, space heater, etc. Learn to use properly to prevent a fire and be sure to have proper ventilation.
  • Fire extinguisher and smoke detector. Test your units regularly to ensure they are working properly.
  • Make sure pets have plenty of food, water and shelter.

In vehicles:

Plan your travel and check the latest weather reports to avoid the storm! Fully check and winterize your vehicle before the winter season begins. Carry a winter storm survival kit including the following items:

  • Mobile phone, charger, batteries
  • Blankets/sleeping bags
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • Knife
  • High-calorie, non-perishable food
  • Extra clothing to keep dry
  • A large empty can and plastic cover with tissues and paper towels for sanitary purposes
  • A small can, candles, and water-proof matches to melt snow for drinking water
  • Sack of sand (or cat litter)
  • Shovel
  • Windshield scraper and brush
  • Tool kit
  • Tow rope
  • Battery booster cables
  • Water container
  • Compass and road maps.

Keep your gas tank near full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines. Try not to travel alone, and be sure to let someone know your travel plans - your timetable and primary and alternate routes.

On the farm:

  • Move animals to sheltered areas. Shelter belts, properly laid out and oriented, are better protection for cattle than confining shelters, such as sheds.
  • Haul extra feed to nearby feeding areas.
  • Have a water supply available. Most animal deaths in winter storms are from dehydration.

Dress for the Season

Dress to fit the season. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing in several layers. Trapped air insulates. Layers can be removed to avoid perspiration and subsequent chill. Outer garments should be tightly woven, water repellent, and hooded. Wear a hat. Half your body heat loss can be from the head. Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from extreme cold. Mittens, snug at the wrist, are better than gloves. Try to stay dry.