The fastest warming season for the US is in the winter since the moisture content is more in warmer air and falls in the form of snow when the temperatures are below freezing in the winter. The snow sources about 50% of water supply to the US and supports local economics from place to place.
Winter Weather Risk In The Southern United States
The Southern US experiences reducing temperature with the onset of winter storms accompanied by the fall of snow and freezing rain. Before moving to the East coast, the winter storm creates dangerous road conditions with a blanket of snow lying all around.
The snow lying on the roads is usually a foot high. North Carolina experiences a combination of freezing rain and higher wind flow and snowfall, leading to the falling of trees and powerlines in the area.
Some areas of the southern US that do not experience typical winter weather although they witness heavy snowfall area Arkansas, Alabama, and Mississippi. The current winter storm in the US has been named Jasper by The Weather Channel.
During this winter, the public safety Department issues circulars for the locals to avoid or reduce non-essential travels, leading to road accidents due to the icy and slippery road conditions. Most flights and trains get canceled and schools closed down due to this challenging weather.
The disruption of electricity supply starts during the early hours of the storm and continues for days during this season, even after the storm recedes from the area. Considering the severity of the electricity disruption, people are advised to use gas-powered generators outside their house to avoid getting exposed to carbon monoxide. At times the storm may be severe, measuring 10 inches.
This year the storm also affected the testing sites for Covid-19, which are crowded with long queues and delays in opening. Some of the testing centers are closed because of the heavy storm.
Federal Emergency Management studies the possible risks in the communities for all types of natural hazards with the National Risk Index and accordingly helps to mitigate plans for overcoming the potential dangers.
The Risk Index is based on several factors like frequency of hazard occurrence in the area, the severity of the hazard, how much the people are affected by the hazard, and extent of preparedness by the area’s people.
Areas like Florida, Texas, and New York are considered to be areas of high elevation along with areas of Washington and Wyoming. The Southern part of Florida becomes a region of the high-risk area during this winter weather causing much economic loss, agricultural loss, and loss of life due to unexpected freezing.
The temperature in Montana and North Dakota reaches below zero degrees, causing frostbite on the exposed skin. The winter storm causes electricity disruption accompanied by water supply scarcity.
Administration declares a state emergency during the onset of severe thunderstorms, rain, hail-storm, and snowfall, which causes flooding, loss of life, public infrastructure, and properties. The administration also arranges to spray the briny mixture on the roads over trucks to avoid icing.
Sometimes snowfall helps in fire fighting efforts fueled by wind. The weather becomes bitterly cold with storms and flash flooding. People during this period are asked to keep provision for accessing warning messages and signals.
Due to the current human resources shortage during the pandemic, the US government has engaged workers from other departments to treat the roads. The labor shortage will also lead to delays in attending emergency calls to resolve issues on highways and roads.
It has been reported that in north Georgia, a heavy winter storm has uprooted power lines, upturned vehicles, and uprooted trees. It has also damaged a school building and caused minor injuries to people.
The severe winter weather accompanied by the Covid-19 pandemic is ought to cause a big concern for the people of the US bringing a lot of challenges to overcome for a few more months.