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LocalBe prepared!

November 1, 2016

This winter in Puget Sound is predicted to be neutral. The sea surface temperature of the Pacific Ocean along the coast of South America is expected to be normal. Weather forecasters here see no effect on the climate from El Niño, warmer than normal water temperatures, or La Niña, cooler than normal water temperatures. So what does a “neutral” winter in Puget Sound look like?

A neutral winter in Puget Sound is often gray with normal rainfall, about 13 inches, and cool temperatures from 45-51 degrees F, so you will need your jacket and boots. But that’s not all. Neutral winters in Puget Sound surprisingly often bring big windstorms. One such example was the Columbus Day Storm on October 12, 1962 with 85-mile per hour winds.

So it’s important to prepare for electrical outages ahead of time. The website, Take Winter by Storm, has many practical tips in English and in eleven other languages. For example, it recommends making a 3-day emergency preparedness kit with canned food, batteries, flashlights, bottled water, and extra clothing. Make a plan with your family and practice what you will do in an emergency, and take weather warnings seriously.

In October, the National Weather Service predicted a big windstorm that missed Seattle and hit Vancouver BC instead. In preparation many people cancelled plans and emptied store shelves. Afterwards meteorologists were criticized. However, being ready for power outages depends on early public warning. Luckily the October storm was not a bad one, and if you prepared for that storm, you are ready for the next big one.

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Published November 2016

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