Winter Forecast Calls for “Equal Chance” of Winter Temperatures and Precipitation

Posted at 1:35 p.m.

According to NOAA’s annual Winter Outlook* announced last week from the agency’s Center for Weather and Climate Prediction in College Park, Md., Fairfax County falls into the “equal chance” category, meaning there is an equal chance for above-, near-, or below-normal temperatures and/or precipitation this coming winter.
NOAA’s 2012 U.S. Winter Outlook -- "equal chance" of winter precipitation for Fairfax County
As we begin to look ahead to winter weather, our emergency management office encourages you to start thinking about what you can do now to be ready when “old man winter” arrives.

  • Do you regularly keep your home’s emergency supply kit current? Is it restocked on a regular basis with essentials such as a flashlight with extra batteries, a battery-powered radio and extra food and water, and blankets in case you lose electricity (and heat)?
  • How about your car or truck? Do you have a kit — or at least some winter weather gear — in your vehicle, like road flares, booster cables, a shovel and windshield scraper, tire chains, a flashlight or even waterproof matches or a charger for your cellphone?
  • Have you signed up for emergency weather alerts from the Community Emergency Alert Network (CEAN)?
  • Have you talked with childcare providers and after school programs about how to handle possible winter weather that may affect your commute home from work if case you’re stuck at the office or in traffic due to snow or ice?

These are just a few of the things to think about and some of the simple steps you can take now to make this coming winter safer for you and your family. You may also want to bookmark our emergency management weather page for the latest weather forcast from the National Weather Service. You also can hear the current forecast by calling 703-652-1210 if you’re not near a computer or lose power.

Over the next couple of months we’ll be providing winter preparedness tips here on the blog. Please follow along — and share the link(s) with friends and family — so that we’re all ready for a safe winter.

* NOAA’s seasonal outlook does not project where and when snowstorms may hit or provide total seasonal snowfall accumulations. Snow forecasts are dependent upon the strength and track of winter storms, which are generally not predictable more than a week in advance.