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Are You Prepared For Winter Weather in The Ozarks?


With colder weather approaching, Missouri officials will recognize Winter Weather Awareness Day next week. KSMU’s Shane Franklin has more on what to expect and how to prepare.

Winter Weather Awareness Day serves as a reminder for people on how to prepare for the cooler temperatures and potential dangers. There are a few easy steps people can follow, says Dale Moore, with the Springfield-Greene County Office of Emergency Management.

“The main thing is just to be situationally aware, to always pay attention to what the weather folks are saying, and don’t wait until the last minute to stock up on food. Thinking ahead more than anything, is the best advice I can give folks,” says Moore.

The Missouri Department of Public Safety advises families to create an emergency plan, have an emergency kit on hand equipped with snacks, a flashlight and first-aid kit, and confirm all heat sources are working properly.

The department also recommends avoid traveling when road conditions are poor, and to be aware of the various winter weather advisories.

A Winter Storm Watch means that winter weather will likely be moving into the area within 12-48 hours. A Winter Storm Warning means that severe winter weather is in your area now, and can be life threatening. Finally, an Ice Storm Warning indicates that there’s a quarter inch of ice, or more, built up outside.

Jay Colucci, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Springfield, says the average temperature in a Missouri winter ranges between 22 and 43 degrees.

“The wintertime here tends to be a little bit dryer than in the spring and summer, so in January we get an average of 2.4 inches of liquid precipitation, and an average snowfall of about 5 inches in January,” said Colucci.

Colucci says the data suggests that this year the Ozarks’ weather will fall within the normal range for temperature and precipitation, but people should still take time to prepare themselves.

For KSMU News, I’m Shane Franklin.