To quote from Game of Thrones – winter is coming. Is your home or business ready?  With La Nina in place for this winter season, the likelihood of impactful winter storms including snow, flooding, and wind storms is greater.

The latest seasonal outlook from the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center clearly shows La Nina tendencies with below average temperatures and above normal precipitation expected for December into March. La Nina is when sea surface temperatures in the Eastern Pacific equatorial waters west of Peru, are cooler than average. This phenomenon adjusts global weather patterns including the North Pacific storm track spending more time at our latitude, bringing our region more storms than usual.

Comparing the history of La Nina with El Nino and Neutral conditions, La Nina ranks by far number one for lowland winter snow for the North Sound with January the prime time month. La Nina is a close second to Neutral conditions for flooding and strong damaging wind storms.

So, are you ready for the greater potential of impactful stormy weather? You can prepare in advance and perhaps preparedness items can make great and thoughtful holiday gifts for loved ones.

For example, heavy amounts of snow and strong winds can create power outages. Having extra flashlights and batteries on hand, a UPS system for your most valuable electronics such as your computers, or even a backup generator would help with your readiness.

There are some great resources to help you with your home and business emergency preparedness. Takewinterbystorm.org/ , ready.gov , and fema.gov all can provide you with helpful guidance and checklists.

Here are some basics to help get you started or add to your current preparedness items.

  • Water – one gallon per person per day                                                – First aid kit
    • 2-week supply                                                                              – Extra cash
  • Food – non-perishable, 2-week supply                                                 – Pet supplies
  • Cell phone with charger (car can charge)                                              – Emergency blankets
  • Medications and medical items                                                             – Flashlights and batteries
  • Battery powered or hand-crank                                                             – Emergency contact information
    • NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards                                                – Sanitation and personal hygiene items
    • AM/FM radio

In your car, many of these same items can be stowed inside, along with tire chains, a shovel, and kitty litter to help address snowy roadways.

For your family, meet and discuss how to prepare for emergencies including in case you are separated during an emergency event. You also want to arrange an out of area emergency contact person in case local phone and cell service is overloaded or out of service.

All of this preparedness will give you a better sense of readiness in case adverse weather strikes or even a big earthquake happens. Remember, when you are weather aware, you are weather prepared. Have a safe and wonderful holiday and winter season!

North Sound Meteorologist Ted Buehner worked more than 40 years for the National Weather Service (NWS) from 1977 to 2018. He is now an Everett Post Media team member. Together with Everett Post Weather Minute Podcasts, he provides morning and afternoon commute traffic and weather updates on both KRKO and KXA Radio, and sports reporting on KRKO.