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Preparing for Fall with NWS

3 Sep 2020, 10:14 am

As we look to temperatures taking a tumble during the first half of September, it’s an important reminder of what is ahead of us this season. Meteorologists track the seasons in groupings of three months. Because these months share common temperature and precipitation characteristics, it becomes much easier to calculate seasonal statistics from the monthly statistics. This is useful for agriculture, commerce, and other applications. Meteorological Fall encompasses September, October and November.

To help people get prepared for the hazards that are climatologically likely to strike, the National Weather Service launches their seasonal safety campaigns.  The theme of this year’s Fall Safety Campaign, beginning September 1, is, “Small Decisions Can Have a Big Impact.” Especially when it comes to the following weather phenomenon:

  • FOG
  • WIND

To learn more about how to stay safe and prepare ourselves for Fall, we spoke with Michelle Mead, the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at NWS Sacramento. Their County Warning Area has many microclimates that experience several of the different threats above. Watch the full interview below, or follow them on Facebook and Twitter for frequent safety updates.


Dense fog can quickly and unexpectedly reduce visibility to a quarter mile or less. If you find yourself on the road during a dense fog event, the small decisions you choose to make could end up saving your life. Small decisions like slowing down, not using cruise control, and delaying travel until conditions improve can make a big impact…or save you from one.


Some hurricane preparations, such as strengthening your home, can be significant efforts. But there are also small decisions that, if made, could save your life. Small decisions like keeping your gas tank full, looking up your evacuation zone, or having a long extension cord for your generator, can end up making a big impact when the storm hits.


There are aspects of wildfire preparation, like using fire-resistant landscaping around your home, that aren’t possible for everyone. But there are also small, potentially life-saving decisions, that anyone can make. Small decisions like not burning brush during dry conditions, and clearing brush away from your home, can make a big impact in not only your life…but in the lives of those around you.


Most flood fatalities occur in vehicles, and it only takes 12 inches of water to sweep a car away. Sometimes the difference between life and death are small decisions. Small decisions like turning around and not driving through a flooded roadway, not driving around barricades, and delaying travel until conditions improve, can make a big impact on whether you keep your car…or even your life. Turn Around, Don’t Drown.


Sometimes, late fall snow storms can be deadlier than expected. The small decisions you make when encountering even light snow can save your life, especially when it comes to being behind the wheel. Small decisions like choosing to stay off the road if possible, or slowing down, and increasing the distance between vehicles, could end up having a big impact.

Want to get involved? Click here for more information on how you can help build a Weather Ready Nation.
Credit: NWS

About the author
Karissa is the Director of On-Air Operations at WeatherNation. Karissa grew up loving math and science, but really fell in love with Meteorology while attending the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. After two summers of storm chasing in the central plains, she knew that it was the career path for her. Standing in front of a thunderstorm and feeling the cool outflow knock her over was an e... Load Morexperience she will never forget. After two years at COD, she transferred to Metropolitan State University of Denver. Karissa graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelors of Science in Meteorology. Her high school and college speech and meteorology professors were extremely supportive and pushed her to succeed. Before joining the WeatherNation team, she previously worked as the Morning Meteorologist at KCAU-TV in Sioux City, Iowa and at WMBD-TV in Peoria, IL. She recently was part of a National Edward R. Murrow award winning team for breaking news for their coverage of the EF-4 tornado in Washington, Illinois. In her free time, Karissa enjoys cooking and trying new foods. She is a self proclaimed 'TV Junkie' who can get into just about any show. She is a die hard Chicago sports fan who loves attending professional sporting events.