MONTESANO, Wash. - The forecast from the NOAA Climate Prediction Center has been right on target for 2010-2011. They are 2 for 2 so far with a significant weather event occurring in both October and November. The Climate Prediction Center is predicting at least one major event, (flooding, high winds, snow and ice storms, extreme low temperatures), for every month during late fall, winter and early spring until April 2011.
La Nina conditions in the Pacific Ocean have provided the environment for the severe weather events to occur this year. So far there have been high winds and huge 30-35’ surf conditions along the coast on October 22-24 and the ice, snow, and extreme low temperature days of November 22-25. Long range forecasting models are showing above average precipitation and an increased chance for colder than average temperatures over the next 3 months. These predictions are consistent with La Nina impacts on the Pacific Northwest. The Cascades and Olympic Mountains could see more significant snowfall this winter. This will affect Grays Harbor County during the warmer spring rainy season, when rains assist in mountain snow melt which impacts the river levels bringing an increased threat for flooding.
Grays Harbor County Emergency Management is urging all citizens to prepare for the predicted severe weather events. The most important thing to remember about any weather related or disaster event is personal and business preparation. Become Pro-Active in preparation. Obtain the essential items to sustain yourself at home for at least one full 24 hour period with three days being the optimal preparation time period. Those prepared reduce the impact of the event on your family significantly. Those unprepared, risk the loss of property, their home, pets and livestock.
The ESSENTIAL PREPARATION ITEMS include:
1) Obtain an All Hazard Weather Radio, program it to the proper frequency and change the batteries in it every time we change the clocks.
2) Sign up for the Grays Harbor County Notification System (You’ll receive a text message, phone call and an e-mail with information about any severe weather or disaster related issue)
3) Find out where the closest shelter or safe haven is located and practice moving to that area with your entire family.
4) All members of your family should have a person to call outside of Grays Harbor County to inform of their situation in the event they are separated from your family during an emergency or weather situation.
5) Prepare a GO-KIT backpack with: ** These are minimal amounts **
a) an AM/FM battery operated portable radio
c) 1- 2 bottles of water for each person and for each pet in the household.
d) Matches in a waterproof container (plastic bag)
e) Snack bars for your family and a small plastic bag of food for each pet
f) Pocket knife
g) A sweatshirt or light jacket for each member
h) Disposable rain poncho for each member of your family
i) Hand warmer packets
j) Package of sanitary wipes