LITTLE ROCK – Freezing temperatures in the last few weeks have given Arkansas its first taste of winter, a sign to be prepared for ice and snow ahead.
Gov. Mike Beebe has proclaimed Nov. 12-16 as Winter Weather Awareness Week in Arkansas, according to the National Weather Service. Although last winter was mild, predicting what will happen this winter is made difficult by a weak and El Nino that's already weakening and the Arctic oscillation, an Arctic pressure pattern.
"The difficulty in making long range outlooks is that what the Arctic oscillation is going to do can generally be foreseen only a couple of weeks in advance, thus even if the arctic oscillation were going to be a major factor this coming winter, that could not be forecast at this point," the National Weather Service said.
Even if no one can control the weather, it can't hurt to be prepared for the worst that winter might bring.
"Everyone needs to get their shelter-at-home kits ready now," said Deborah Tootle, association professor of Community and Economic Development for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. "They should also think about keeping a full tank of gas, blankets and emergency food and water in their cars."
The Cooperative Extension Service has a preparedness fact sheet, "Be Aware and Prepare: Winter Storms," available for download at:
For more information on disaster preparedness, visit www.uaex.edu, www.arcommunities.org/, or contact your local county agent.
The Cooperative Extension Service is part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, marital or veteran status, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.