Posted at 10 a.m.
The first snow of the season is predicted this weekend, and with that expectation of snow, the National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory in effect from midnight tonight until 4 p.m. Saturday.
A winter weather advisory means periods of snow will cause primarily travel difficulties. Be prepared for snow covered roads and limited visibilities and use caution while driving. The latest road conditions can be obtained by calling 511 or you can visit www.511virginia.org/.
Be sure to sign up for Fairfax Alerts to receive severe weather updates. And to make sure you and your family are as prepared as possible for whatever this weekend’s snow — and this winter’s weather — may throw our way, be sure to read and bookmark our Winter Weather Guide that features some of the more frequently asked issues about winter in Fairfax County.
Posted at 11:30 a.m.
The long, cold winter nights are upon us. Imagine spending the night sleeping outside. For those experiencing homelessness in our county this is a frightening and potentially life-threatening reality.
To help ensure no one has to sleep outside during the winter months, a collaborative effort by the county, nonprofits and faith communities created the Hypothermia Prevention Program more than a decade ago. Last winter, the program provided more than 1,000 people experiencing homelessness in our county with a warm, safe place to sleep and a healthy meal.
Hypothermia is a condition brought on when the body temperature drops below 95 degrees. Warning signs include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion.
If you see someone at night who is unsheltered and you think he or she could be at risk of hypothermia, call the county’s non-emergency phone line at 703-691-2131.
NewsCenter has more on the hypothermia prevention program and other county news and event information.
Posted 2 p.m.
Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. tomorrow, Sunday, Nov. 5, so be sure to turn your clocks back one hour before going to bed tonight.
It’s also a good idea to use Daylight Saving Time as a reminder to change the batteries in your smoke alarm(s), as well as update the supplies in your emergency kits, like batteries, water and any essential medications. Also remember to add fall and winter clothing and other related items to emergency kits in your home, vehicle and office.
To learn more about emergency preparedness visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency.
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.