Halloween isn't for another two days — and Portsmouth is expecting its first snowfall of the fall overnight tonight, according to the National Weather Service.
As of 4 p.m. yesterday, the weather service forecast called for rain starting after 3 p.m. this afternoon and changing to a mix through late afternoon and switching to snow at about 7 p.m. A total of about an inch of snow is expected for Portsmouth with totals of 3-5 inches expected for the rest of Rhode Island.
The service also issued a high wind watch for tonight and tomorrow morning, with wind speeds expected to reach 25 to 35 mph, with gusts up to 55 mph.
In advance of the expected snow, the American Red Cross released a set of safety tips to help people avoid accidents and injuries during and after the storm:
- Stay indoors during the storm.
- If you must go outside, several layers of lightweight clothing will keep you warmer than a single heavy coat.
- Gloves (or mittens) and a hat will prevent loss of body heat. Cover your mouth to protect your lungs.
- Understand the hazards of wind chill, which combines the cooling effect of wind and cold temperatures on exposed skin. As the wind increases, heat is carried away from a person's body at an accelerated rate, driving down body temperature.
- Walk carefully on snowy, icy, sidewalks.
- Use caution shoveling snow. It is physically strenuous work, so take frequent breaks. Avoid overexertion.
Avoid traveling by car in a storm, but if you must...
- Carry a Disaster Supplies Kit in the trunk (information on kits is at end of release).
- Keep your car's gas tank full for emergency use and to keep the fuel line from freezing.
- Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive. If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route.
The Red Cross also offered the following items for an emergency kit:
- First aid kit and essential medications.
- Battery-powered NOAA Weather radio, flashlight and extra batteries.
- Canned food and can opener.
- Bottled water (at least one gallon of water per person per day to last at least 3 days).
- Extra warm clothing, including boots, mittens, and a hat.
- Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit for your car, too.