NOAA Confirms Formation of La Niña—Bitter Cold – Snow – Ice Forecast from Southeast to Northeast

Winter in a North American neighborhood.

The El Niño Southern Oscillation, or ENSO, is a periodic event along the equator in the Pacific Ocean. It causes specific and predictable weather changes in the Pacific along the equator which in turn affects the weather on a global scale. The cycle is an oscillation every two to seven years between El Niño and La Niña. During an El Niño period, the water along the equator in the Pacific Ocean is much warmer than the average. At the other end of the cycle is La Niña, a period of much cooler water in the same region.

The fall of 2017 saw the formation of La Niña, not surprising after a record setting active Atlantic hurricane season. La Niña will have a predictable effect on the weather in the United States and Canada, and the rest of the world. Key for U.S. residents is the cold, snowy winter forecast for the Northeast to Pacific Northwest and from the southeast through the Ohio Valley.

Winter Emergency Preparedness Checklist

La Niña Winter Power Outages

Snow, Ice, and Down Trees after a Northeast Winter Storm
Snow and ice during a Northeast Winter Storm Downed Trees and Power Lines

With at least two to three major ice storms predicted from Texas to Tennessee, bitter cold in the Northern Plains, and above average snow in the Northeast, the possibility for power outages increases substantially in these areas which are already prone to service interruptions. With extended power outages—always a possibility after an ice storm—comes the reality that home heating systems rely on electricity. Without electricity, pipes freeze and burst. The resulting flooding causes extensive damage that total tens of thousands of dollars and can render a home uninhabitable.

Some homeowners turn to portable generators as an intermediate measure to keep living areas warm, but they require a transfer switch to run furnaces and other permanently-wired home appliances. They only work if you’re home to hook them up and feed them a steady diet of fuel.

A home backup generator is different. Permanently wired and operating on natural gas or propane, they run for days or weeks without human intervention. Even better, it doesn’t matter if you’re home or halfway around the world, they start and run automatically and keep your home warm and safe.
Backfeeding with a Generator is Dangerous

Winter Installation Headaches

Down Power Lines and Trees Covered in Ice
Trees and Power Lines brought down during an ice storm caused power outages, blocked roads, and hampered utility restoration efforts. Photo by Matt Wade

Installation doesn’t happen overnight. Local building codes will require a permit along with site preparation and at least two or three inspections. Check with the gas company to find out if the meter is adequate to serve your new generator and if not, you’ll need to arrange installation of new one.

Local Home Backup Generator Installers work all winter, but once the snow and ice arrive along with bitter cold temperatures, site preparation and installation are more difficult, especially if local codes require a poured concrete slab or soil conditions require one. Digging trenches for buried cable and gas pipes through frozen soil add to the installer’s problems—none of which are insurmountable, but it does add to the installation time. In the middle of a severe weather event with widespread outages, installers have existing customers to service and care for. Why wait for a disaster? Installation before the heart of winter arrives with bitter cold and snow or damaging ice storms saves time and trouble.

Best Home Backup Generators for Cold Climates

Install a Home Backup Generator from Norwall PowerSystems

Installing a Home Standby Generator
Installation before winter storms ensures uninterrupted power throughout the season.

Head off to your winter vacation, family holiday gathering, or wherever your travels lead. You won’t come home to a disaster because of a power outage you didn’t know about or couldn’t do anything to alleviate. Even if you’re away from home, an automatic home backup generator will keep the power on. The furnace runs when it is supposed to and the pipes won’t freeze and burst. You and your family will sleep in your own beds instead of seeking shelter in a hotel.

Buyers Guide: What Size Home Backup Generator do I Need?

With a new home backup generator to keep your home safe, alerts and remote access set up on your smart phone or tablet, you can leave for the sunny beaches or a skiing and snowboarding vacation and not worry about the weather back home.

Shop Our Online Catalog today and find out how the peace of mind of a home backup generator can keep your home safe whether you are home or away.