Winter Weather Preparedness

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THIS WEEK HAS BEEN DECLARED WINTER WEATHER PREPAREDNESS WEEK IN NORTH CAROLINA. ALL WEEK LONG THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WILL BE ISSUING INFORMATIVE MESSAGES TO HELP YOU PREPARE FOR WINTER WEATHER.
 
...OUTLOOK FOR THIS WINTER...
 
MUCH OF CENTRAL NORTH CAROLINA HAS BEEN SPARED THE IMPACT OF A SIGNIFICANT WINTER STORM THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS. IN FACT THE HEAVY SNOW WHICH FELL FROM RALEIGH EAST ON JANUARY 20TH OF LAST YEAR WAS THE FIRST HEAVY SNOW TO STRIKE THE AREA SINCE 2004. MANY OTHER LOCATIONS ACROSS CELTRAL NORTH CAROLINA RECEIVED MUCH LESS SNOW LAST YEAR.
 
LOOKING AHEAD TO THIS WINTER EL NINO…DEFINED BY WARMER THAN NORMAL SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN…LOOKS TO BE ONE OF THE PRIMARY FACTORS INFLUENCING WINTER WEATHER. EL NINO RESULTS IN AN INTENSIFIED UPPER LEVEL JET STREAM WHICH HELPS TO DRIVE PRECIPITATION AND WINTER STORMS. THE OUTLOOK FOR THIS WINTER CALLS FOR ABOVE NORMAL CHANCES FOR A COLDER THAN NORMAL WINTER. THE PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK FOR THIS WINTER CALLS FOR GOOD CHANCES OF NORMAL TO ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION. IT IS TOO EARLY TO SAY HOW MUCH OF THIS PRECIPITATION WILL FALL AS SNOW OR ICE.
 
PREPARATION FOR WINTER STORMS IS IMPORTANT THIS YEAR SINCE IT HAS BEEN SEVERAL YEARS SINCE A MAJOR WINTER STORM HAS AFFECTED CENTRAL NORTH CAROLINA. EVERYONE SHOULD USE THIS WEEK TO LOOK AHEAD TO THE UPCOMING WINTER MONTHS AND PREPARE FOR THE POSSIBILITY OF WINTER STORMS.