NOAA Forecasters Predict Cooler, Wetter North and Warmer, Drier South
Posted at 11 a.m.
Yesterday, the forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center released the U.S. Winter Outlook, with La Niña potentially emerging for the second year in a row as the biggest wildcard in how this year’s winter will shape up.
“If La Niña conditions develop, we predict it will be weak and potentially short-lived, but it could still shape the character of the upcoming winter,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
“Typical La Niña patterns during winter include above average precipitation and colder than average temperatures along the Northern Tier of the U.S. and below normal precipitation and drier conditions across the South.”
In this video, Halpert explains the 2017-18 winter outlook.
NOAA’s seasonal outlooks give the likelihood that temperature and precipitation will be above-, near, or below-average, and also how drought is expected to change, but do not project seasonal snowfall accumulations. Snow forecasts are generally not predictable more than a week in advance because they depend upon the strength and track of winter storms.
The U.S. Winter Outlook will be updated on Nov. 16.
Be Ready For Any Weather
Whether it’s a warmer, drier winter or a colder, wetter one with lots of snow, you and your family need to be prepared.
The first thing to do is sign up for our free severe weather alerts from Fairfax Alerts. You can also get severe traffic alerts and other notifications.
Next, make sure your family has an emergency supply kit at home and that you have emergency kits at work and in every vehicle. Learn how to make your kit and what supplies you need to have.
Prepare now and be ready for whatever “Old Man Winter” throws at us this year!
Posted at 11 a.m.
T he Great Southeast ShakeOut earthquake drill will be held on Thursday, Oct. 19 at 10:19 a.m.
ShakeOut is an annual earthquake drill held on the third Thursday of October as a way to learn how to react in the event of an earthquake. It is coordinated across all states and territories.
Participating is a great way for your family or organization to be prepared to survive and recover quickly from big earthquakes – wherever you live, work or travel.
Participants will “Drop, Cover and Hold On” as practice for what to do in the event of an earthquake. Knowing what to do before an earthquake could determine how well you survive and recover.
You cannot tell from the initial shaking if an earthquake will suddenly become intense…so always Drop, Cover and Hold On immediately!
- DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees. This position protects you from being knocked down and also allows you to stay low and crawl to shelter if nearby.
- COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand. Stay on your knees; bend over to protect vital organs.
- If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter.
- If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall (away from windows).
- HOLD ON until the shaking stops.
- Under shelter — hold on to it with one hand; be ready to move with your shelter if it shifts.
- No shelter — hold on to your head and neck with both arms and hands.
Find out more about how to register and participate in the ShakeOut drill at www.ShakeOut.org/southeast.
Posted at 3 p.m.
The Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is partnering with numerous county agencies and other partners, such as the American Red Cross, to host a Preparedness Awareness Weekend (PAW) on Saturday, Oct. 14 at the Providence Community Center, 3001 Vaden Drive, Fairfax.
The event will be held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and will feature CPR demonstrations and a presentation for daycare centers on daycare preparedness by the county’s Office for Children. In addition, Fairfax County Public Schools will present on emergency management and response, the Sheriff’s Office will provide child identifications, attendees can “touch a truck” during the display of emergency vehicles and emergency preparedness start kits will be given away throughout the day, at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Other agencies involved include the county’s Health Department, Neighborhood and Community Services, Police Department, Fire and Rescue Department, Citizens Corp programs and Inova.
PAW is a free, family-friendly event and children of all ages are welcome. It’s the perfect weekend event to help you and your loved ones prepare for any emergency. Specialized information will be available for parents of children in various age groups, ranging from infants to toddlers, to pre-kindergarten to school-age children.
Free parking is available at the Vienna Metro Garage; look for shuttle service to the Providence Community Center.
For additional information, contact OEM at 571-350-1000, TTY 711, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow emergency management on Twitter (www.twitter.com/ReadyFairfax) or Facebook (www.facebook.com/ReadyFairfax).
Posted at 10 a.m.
he Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a mandatory nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) this afternoon, Wednesday, Sept. 27, at 2:20 pm EDT.
The test will assess the readiness for distribution of the national level test message, as well as verify its delivery.
This is the third mandatory nationwide test of the EAS. The first test was conducted in November 2011, in collaboration with the FCC, broadcasters and emergency management officials. The second mandatory test was conducted in September 2016.
The EAS test is made available to radio, television, cable and direct broadcast satellite systems, and is scheduled to last approximately one minute. The test’s message will be similar to the regular monthly test message of the EAS with which the public is familiar, only inserting the word “national.”
“This is a national test of the Emergency Alert System. This is only a test.”
Conducting the test following Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria will provide insight into the resiliency of our national-level alerting capabilities in impacted areas. The test will also provide valuable data into how the Integrated Public Alerts and Warning System (IPAWS) performs during and following a variety of conditions.
With three major hurricanes already making landfall this year (and hurricane season not ending until Nov. 30), along with other threats like earthquakes and terrorism, we need to have the ability to maintain the continuity of critical infrastructure under various conditions.
Periodic testing of public alert and warning systems is a way to assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure required for the distribution of a national message and determine whether technological improvements are needed.
Posted at 10 a.m.
On Tuesday, Fairfax County held an emergency exercise — Operation Thunderbolt Strikes — at multiple locations including Tysons Corner Center, the county’s Government Center and the county’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
The exercise was held to test the coordination, command and control between the county’s EOC and field command locations, as well as test emergency planning and response capabilities, validate several emergency plans and improve the level of response in case of a complex coordinated attack.
In this video, Michael Guditus, exercise director and assistant coordinator of the county’s Office of Emergency Management, discusses the exercise and what organizers were hoping to accomplish.
Fairfax County holds numerous exercises and events throughout the year, including tabletop discussions and more involved functional and full-scale drills. The exercises range from agency-level scenarios to multi-agency, county-level and regional events.
For more on Operation Thunderbolt Strikes or the county’s training and exercise program, contact the Office of Emergency Management at 571-350-1000, TTY 711.