When winter weather moves into Green Country, whether drastically cold temperatures or the chance of snow, make sure you are prepared for everything.
This tip sheet includes information about the different types of alerts that come out, what you need to get your house ready, and some dangers that are seen during winter months.
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Check the school closings page to see if your school is open or closed.
Winter Weather Watches, Warnings, and Advisories
The National Weather Service has specific terms to make sure everyone knows what to expect in the coming days and hours of a winter weather event.
Winter Storm Watch means that severe winter conditions, such as heavy snow and/or ice, may affect your area, but its occurrence, location and timing are still uncertain. A winter storm watch is issued to provide 12 to 36 hours notice of the possibility of severe winter weather. A winter storm watch is intended to provide enough lead time so those who need to set plans in motion can do so.
A watch is upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning when 4 or more inches of snow or sleet is expected in the next 12 hours, or 6 or more inches in 24 hours, or 1/4 inch or more of ice accretion is expected.
Winter Weather Advisories inform you that winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences that may be hazardous. If caution is exercised, advisory situations should not become life-threatening.
A Blizzard Warning means that snow and strong winds will combine to produce a blinding snow (near zero visibility), deep drifts, and life-threatening wind chill.
Are you prepared for winter weather?
Often, winter weather catches people unprepared. There are many things you can do ahead of time to prepare.
When temperatures start turning cold, you can begin to prepare a go-bag for your house or even make an emergency kit. Make a similar bag for your car but add in an ice scraper, kitty litter, and some extra layers.
You can also double-check that your home is insulated properly. You not only want to keep your house warm to protect yourself, but you will also want to protect your pipes. Doing these things to protect your house will help keep you and your loved ones safe.
Firefighters also warn not to plug space heaters into power strips. Doing that can cause fires and cause other things to melt.
As winter weather is arriving, be sure you know what preparations are being made in your area, and what are the appropriate steps to take to stay safe?
Winter weather can be dangerous for many different reasons. Freezing rain, snow, drastically cold temperatures, and dangerous wind chills can all be dangers.
Freezing rain is a different type of danger from snow or cold temperatures.
One of the gravest dangers of winter weather is wind chill. The wind chill is based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin by combined effects of wind and cold. As the wind increases, heat is carried away from the body at an accelerated rate, driving down the body temperature. If you are spending time outside, you need to make sure that you are wearing the proper layers and taking those precautions against frostbite and hypothermia.
Once winter weather arrives, there are things that might have to happen. You might have to clear some ice or snow, make plans for kids if the school closes, or even rethink food ideas.
If you know freezing temperatures are coming, not only should you be preparing your house, but there are also some things you won't want to leave in your freezing car. Electronics (like cell phones), medication, food, drinks, etc.
If the winter weather brings snow, there are actually some tips to removing it and ways to remove the snow if you don't have a shovel!
- Winter weather: How to shovel, remove snow safely
- Life hacks: How to remove snow when you don't have shovels
- Why bridges become slick before other roads