The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

November 5, 2012

Winter Weather Awareness Day set for Friday

OTTUMWA — If you have watched television, listend to the radio, or even opened the mail the past few weeks you have most likely been subjected to a blizzard of political ads.

Now, with the political season winding down, experts think you should start preparing for the real thing.

Southeast Iowa has yet to see snow this season and, if seasonal norms persist, isn't likely to be hammered just yet. But the arrival of winter is guaranteed. With it, we will see dangerous weather.

Most of southeast Iowa sees its first measurable snowfall (0.1 inch or more) between Nov. 25 and Nov. 30, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Only a tiny sliver along the Missouri border averages later than Nov. 30. The first snowfall of an inch or more typically takes place after December 1.

Snow isn't the only risk, though. Ice, through sleet or freezing rain, can be at least as big a headache. Winter temperatures themselves can be dangerous. And most winter storms have lingering effects, so it's smart to prepare for several days of disruptions.

Iowa Winter Weather Awareness Day is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 9. The National Weather Service wants Iowans to think about whether they are ready for winter weather and to review their preparations.

It doesn't take long to get mentally prepared. After all, most of us have been through bad winters before. But a few minutes' preparation can pay off once winter strikes.

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