Every time the seasons change, you probably feel unprepared for what the weather will bring next. Thanks to the experts at the Old Farmer’s Almanac, we can give you some idea of what to expect for the 2016-2017 winter season. By knowing ahead of time what winter weather might bring, you can prepare you home – and your pipes – ahead of time.
Winter Temperature Prediction
Across the US, expect temperatures to be much colder than last year’s mild winter, but still above average. Exceptions to this include most Pacific states and the swath from North Dakota to Maine, which will have below-normal temperatures. Also, the Intermountain region and Desert Southwest will both have warmer temperatures than last winter.
Winter Snowfall Prediction
Overall, below-normal snowfall is expected across the US this winter. However, the northernmost swath of the country can expect above-normal snowfall, with the exception of eastern North and South Dakota and western Minnesota. In the east, above-normal snowfall will extend from western New York southward through the Appalachians.
Winter Precipitation Prediction
In parts of the nation where rain is more common than snow in the winter, precipitation is expected to be below average. However, some wet pockets still remain, including northern California and southern Oregon, the western Lower Lakes region, northern New England, and Florida. The drought in California will continue with dry conditions predicted throughout most of the state.
Canada Winter Weather Prediction
For our friends in the north, brace yourselves for snowier, colder-than-usual winter weather. The exceptions to this prediction include northern Quebec and eastern Nunavut, where conditions are expected to be mild and dry. The other northern territories, Manitoba and eastern portions of Saskatchewan are expected to be cold, but they’ll see less snow than the rest of Canada.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes this Winter
If you live in one of the regions with below-normal temperatures in the forecast, you’re wise to protect your pipes now, before the chill sets in. According to tests conducted by the Building Research Council at the University of Illinois, 20 degrees F and below puts your pipes at risk of freezing.
Here’s what you can do now to prevent frozen and burst pipes and the potentially devastating damage they can cause:
- Store garden hoses: When water freezes in the hose, it can expand and increase pressure throughout your home’s plumbing, sometimes bursting pipes as a result. Disconnect, drain and store hoses before the first freeze hits.
- Insulate exposed pipes: Any plumbing that runs through the attic, garage or crawlspace is more exposed than pipes that run through the heated areas of your home. If it’s rare for the temperature to drop below 20 degrees F where you live, foam or fiberglass pipe insulation is sufficient. For cold climates, thermostatically controlled heat tape under the insulation keeps pipes from freezing in extreme conditions.
- Let the water drip: On bitter nights, open a faucet slightly and let it slowly drip all night long. The resulting water flow and pressure relief prevents pipes from freezing and bursting.
- Plan ahead when you go out of town: Keep the furnace at 55 degrees or higher at all times, even when you’re not home. Shut off the main water supply and drain the plumbing system before you leave on a trip.
If you need plumbing help from a warm, friendly plumber, call Mr. Rooter® for the job. We’ve got the tools and knowhow necessary to carefully manage frozen pipes, repair burst pipes and most importantly, prevent these problems from happening the first place! Give us a call today.