Winter Is Nearly Here, Are You Prepared ?

Press Release: The National Weather Service (NWS) offices serving Nebraska, in conjunction with the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, host a Winter Weather Awareness Day each year in November. Everyone is encouraged to participate and become winter weather aware with Thursday, November 8, 2018, serving as Nebraska Winter Weather Awareness Day.

This is an excellent time for everyone to review their winter weather preparedness plans: individuals, families, businesses, partners, schools, and media. Now is the time to remind ourselves about the hazards of winter and become “Weather-Ready”. It is especially important for those new to Nebraska to become familiar with winter weather hazards and the NWS coverage areas.

Three key points we would like to highlight for this year’s Winter Weather Awareness Day:

1) Pathfinder: Pathfinder is a joint initiative involving the Federal Highway
Administration and the NWS. Nebraska NWS offices and the Nebraska Department of Transportation have entered into this Federal Highway Program that is designed to alter behavior, improve safety, and minimize weather impacts.

2) Probabilistic Snowfall Products: NWS is again assigning probabilities for snow amounts that may fall. This is called “probabilistic winter forecasts” and are available from every NWS office across Nebraska. NWS offices will provide a range of possibilities that includes the low end, most likely, and high end snow amounts to allow individuals to make better and more informed decisions.

3) Hazard Simplification: This project continues and, like last year, NWS will no longer issue Blizzard Watches. A single hazard product (Winter Weather Advisory) will handle all advisory-level situations again this winter season as well. The goal is fewer hazards products, less confusion, and better messaging.

The 2018 Nebraska Winter Weather Awareness Day packet is accessible online at https://www.weather.gov/media/gid/awareness/wwad/WWAD2018.pdf. For information on winter weather safety and what to do before, during, and after a winter storm please visit the National Weather Service’s Winter web site: https://www.weather.gov/safety/winter.

The National Weather Service’s North Platte Forecast Office (https://www.weather.gov/lbf), located in North Platte, NE, is the primary source of weather data, forecasts, and warnings for 26 counties across western and north central Nebraska.

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