It pains me just to have to write this, but winter is on the way. Both on the calendar and in reality.

It looks like we might get our first taste of winter-like weather Thursday night into Friday. The gang over in the Dakota News Now Weather Center is predicting a 50% chance of snow and high winds starting Thursday night and all day on Friday.

Awesome! Nothing like starting the season off with blizzard-like conditions.

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What should every South Dakotan be doing right now to help prepare for the next 5-month visit from Old Man Winter?

For starters, if you have patio furniture, I'd probably take it in, or at least cover it up ASAP.

Yeah, I know, there have been days here lately that still resemble decent patio weather at times. Even at night, for a firepit. But you and both know, those days are coming to a screeching halt real soon! If it ends up getting as windy as they predict, you might have to go looking for your patio furniture in Iowa. It's been my experience that 45 to 50 mph wind gusts are generally not too kind to lawn furniture.

Move your campers, trailers, and boats off the street.

If you haven't already, I highly recommend you get your boat, your camper, or any trailer you might have, off a residential street right away. Those people who fail to remove these types of items off city streets run the risk of getting a $35.00 to $70.00 fine should we receive more than two inches of snow that require street crews to spring into action on snow routes.

If you have a snowblower, have you serviced it yet?

I hope so. It will soon become your best friend. Making sure your snowblower is in good working condition prior to Old Man Winter taking his first big dump of the season is another prerequisite for those of us living in the Midwest.

Have you winterized your vehicles yet?

If you haven't already, now would be a good time to get your car ready to roll for the long winter months ahead. Put on your winter tires if necessary. Check your tire pressure. Check your antifreeze and fluid levels. Install winter wipers. Place a winter weather survival kit in your car, and always make sure your vehicle has at least half a tank of gas in it at all times.

How about your house, have you had your furnace checked lately?

Now would be an excellent time to have a trained professional make sure your home's heating and duct system is in tip-top shape. You don't want any surprises from your furnace on one of those sub-zero South Dakota winter days that are unfortunately on the way.

Hopefully, we get lucky and have another mild winter again this year. Last year was a dream winter for cold-weather haters and non-snow lovers like myself. The chances of getting two of those types of winters back to back in South Dakota are pretty slim I'm guessing.

From what I've heard, it is supposed to be colder than normal here in the Sioux Falls area this winter. So get ready to bundle up, buckle up and start counting the days to the first spring thaw.

Source: Dakota News Now

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