While temperatures are forecast to climb back into the 60s for much of Iowa in the coming weekend, the National Weather Service is reminding us of — the inevitable.

Meteorologist Brooke Hagenhoff says today is Winter Weather Awareness Day and Iowans need to take note and start stocking up on supplies.

“Whenever we have a winter storm that comes, we don’t want to be scrambling last-minute to make sure we have the things we need,” Hagenhoff says. “This is an opportunity for us to make sure Iowans are prepared for the winter weather that’s coming. Living in Iowa, we know that sooner or later we’re going to get that big winter storm that’s going to cause problems.”

Hagenhoff says much of the weather across the continent is being influenced by the current La Nina pattern, which may have a minor impact on Iowa.

“There could be a chance for some slightly warmer-than-average temperatures and maybe slightly wetter-than-average precipitation amounts across Iowa,” Hagenhoff says. “It’s a pretty weak signal in Iowa. The best thing Iowans can do is just be prepared for whatever winter throws at us.” She warns that does NOT mean we will entirely avoid extreme cold snaps or significant snowfalls.

Hagenhoff directs Iowans to the National Weather Service website for the Des Moines area office to learn more about winter weather safety.

“We have materials up there for people to start taking those actions like creating winter preparedness kits to keep in the car, things to stay warm, maybe some food in case you’re stranded,” she says, “and ways to prepare your home as well so you’re ready whenever those conditions arise.”

That website is weather.gov/dmx.

(By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)