As a sign of things to come, light snow fell in Brainerd Monday afternoon, Nov. 4, signally the hours left to prepare before the cold arrives in earnest are shorter by the day.

Monday’s 40 degree high was likely the warmest temperatures of the week if cleaning gutters is still on the to-do list. The National Weather Service in Duluth notes the three-day outlook calls for colder than normal temperatures and snow Tuesday night into Wednesday.

The forecast could be called watch for falling temperatures. For the week ahead, expect daytime highs to reflect the soon-to-be winter reality. Tuesday’s high is not expected to rise above freezing and there is a 30 percent chance for snow showers. Overnight lows are anticipated to be in the teens. Saturday’s expected high may reach 34 degrees, for the warmest day of the weekend.

“It will be chilly with low temperatures in the teens,” the weather service reported. “The below normal temperatures for this time of year continue heading late into the week with high temperatures generally in the 20s – these highs are normally seen during the month of February for the Northland.”

If the cold snap isn’t enough to help Minnesotans get in the right frame of mind for winter preparation, the state offers Minnesota Winter Hazard Awareness Week Nov. 4-8.

That’s why the Minnesota Department of Public Safety division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management in collaboration with the National Weather Service, sponsors the annual Winter Hazard Awareness Week public information campaign each year. The week features a news and social media information campaign that highlights daily topics related to winter weather safety.

The HSEM Winter Weather Safety website offers additional information, checklists, and resources to assist in local education efforts throughout the season. We encourage people, families, businesses, and organizations to use the information to review, refresh and share their winter safety knowledge and habits.

  • Monday provided a winter weather overview -- ice storms, blizzards, sub-zero temperatures, winter weather watches warnings and wind chill. The topic covered what winter weather threats are and what storm alerts and warnings mean. An outlook means winter storm conditions are possible in the next 2-5 days. A watch means winter storm conditions are possible within the next 36-48 hours anda warning means life-threatening severe weather conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours. An advisory means winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous.

  • Tuesday, Nov. 5: Outdoor Winter Safety -- safety on ice, snowmobile safety, hypothermia and frostbite. The topic includes ice safety tips and a winter safety checklist for families and children, winter sports and the hazards that can come with snow shoveling. For extreme cold safety, wear layers of loose-fitting, water repellant warm clothing and wear a hat -- as 40 percent of body heat is lost from the head. Tight fitting mittens are better than gloves at keeping the fingers warmer.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 6: Winter Fire Safety -- winter and holiday fire safety, alternative heat sources, smoke detectors, cooking safety, candles and decorations. Tips include ways to help prevent ice dams and a reminder to replace batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Safety tips include checklists to use at home and after a storm, as well as fact sheets on home safety in terms of heat sources and cooking fires along with fact sheets on holiday safety concerns with candles and Christmas trees and decorating before the snow arrives for safer use of ladders with the arrival of slippery surfaces.

  • Thursday, Nov. 7: Indoor Winter Safety -- carbon monoxide, radon, mold and general home care facts and prevention tips.

  • Friday, Nov. 8: Winter Driving -- auto safety, snowplows, road conditions, using 511, winter driving tips and car survival kits. Tips for what to include in the winter survival kit includes: boots, jackets, gloves, blankets, booster cables, basic tools, sand or cat litter, red bandana, pencil and paper, cell phone charger, flashlight and spare batteries and bottled water and snacks.

Go online to for more information.