FRANKFORT – As the winter weather season approaches, Kentucky Emergency Management (KYEM), the National Weather Service (NWS) and Kentucky Weather Preparedness Committee (KWPC) have designated December 1 – 7 as Winter Weather Awareness Week in Kentucky.
Kentucky has already experienced an early season of sleet, freezing rain, snow and frigid temperatures, offering a glimpse of what to expect through the winter months. It is important to remember that snow, ice and freezing rain often blanket much of the Commonwealth, causing widespread traffic problems, power outages, and school and business closings. Michael Dossett, Director for KYEM said, “Winters in Kentucky can range from mild sunny days to historic snowfalls like we have seen in past years. Kentuckians need to know the risks associated with severe winter weather and ways to prepare ahead of time for winter events.”
Joe Sullivan, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the Louisville NWS office, said, “We’re expecting an active weather pattern through the winter. We’ll have our typical fluctuations of warm and cold spells through December, and if the current patterns hold, we’ll likely have above normal wintry precipitation from late January through early March.” Normal snowfall for most of Kentucky is 12”-18”, with up to 24” in the eastern mountains.
Each year, dozens of Americans die due to exposure to the cold. Even more winter weather related fatalities occur in vehicle accidents, fires caused by heaters, or due to carbon monoxide poisoning from the improper use of generators during power outages. Severe winter storms can impact a community for days, weeks or even months, as we witnessed in the 2009 ice storm. Winter Weather Awareness Week is the perfect time to prepare yourself, families, communities, schools and business for the upcoming winter season. Review your emergency plan, build or resupply your emergency kits and educate others on the hazards of winter weather.
For additional information and helpful links, please visit KYEM’s website at www.kyem.ky.gov where you can follow us on social media and sign up for alerts. Winter weather resources and safety tips can also be found at NWS’s Winter Safety website at www.weather.gov/safetycampaign.