Several terms are used in weather forecasts to describe winter weather. Make sure you know what they mean.
Blizzard Warning – Sustained winds or gusts of ≥ 35mph with significant falling or blowing snow limiting visibility to ≤ ¼ mile; expected to continue for 3 or more hours
Blizzard Watch – Sustained winds or gusts of ≥ 35mph with significant falling or blowing snow limiting visibility to ≤ ¼ mile; expected to continue for 3 or more hours is possible within the next 36 hours
Freeze/Frost Warning – Widespread frost during growing season; temperatures at or below 32F expected
Heavy Snow Warning – Heavy snowfall amounts are imminent
Ice Storm Warning – Heavy ice accumulation is occurring or imminent; ranges from ¼ to ½ inch or more of freezing rain
Sleet – Rain that turns to ice before reaching the ground
Snow Advisory – Moderate snowfall amounts are occurring or imminent
Winter Storm Warning – Winter storm is imminent or occurring; conditions include snow, freezing rain/sleet and strong winds
Winter Storm Watch – Winter storm is possible in your area within the next 36 hours
Winter Weather Advisory – Hazardous weather conditions are likely or imminent; used for combination of two or more conditions including snow, freeze rain/drizzle, sleet and blowing snow
Winter weather, including winter storms and extreme cold negatively impact your health. Know how to keep warm, and the signs of hypothermia.
Create a preparedness plan and kit for you and your family. In addition to your family, think about your car and home when preparing for winter weather.
Keeping a winter weather kit in your car is vital! The kit could include:
Extra cell phone charter, batteries, and cords
Food and water
First aid kit
Jumper cables, flares, tire pump, and sand or cat litter
How to prepare your home
Install weather stripping, insulation and storm windows