NVRC – Winter Weather Information
Finding Weather Information on the Web:
The Weather Channel www.weather.com
Enter your zip code in the box at the top of the page to get a forecast for your area.
Winter Weather Watches, Warnings and Advisories- What do they all Mean?
The National Weather Service uses specific winter weather terms to ensure that people know what to expect in the coming days and hours . A 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 accumulation 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. Be sure to listen carefully to the radio, television, and NOAA Weather Radio for the latest winter storm watches, warnings, and advisories. For additional information, visit the Winter Weather Awareness web page at: http://www.weather.gov/om/winter
What is Wind Chill?
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. Animals are also effected by wind chill. Check out the wind chill chart at: http://www.weather.gov/er/iln/tables.htm#wind
Remaining Safe During a Winter Storm
- Listen to, or read the text of a NOAA Weather Radio or watch local news channels for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS). Local TV stations must provide visual information about emergencies that could affect life, health, safety and property.
- Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas and make sure that their access to food and water is not blocked by snow drifts, ice or other obstacles.
- Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear.
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
- Go to a designated public shelter if your home loses power or heat during periods of extreme cold.
- Avoid driving when conditions include sleet, freezing rain or drizzle, snow or dense fog. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.
- Before tackling strenuous tasks in cold temperatures, consider your physical condition, the weather factors and the nature of the task.
- Protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Stay indoors, if possible.
- Help people who require special assistance such as elderly people living alone, people with disabilities and children.
- From Chip Stratton, DARS
Distributed 2013 by Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC), 3951 Pender Drive, Suite 130, Fairfax, VA 22030; www.nvrc.org; 703-352-9055 V, 703-352-9056 TTY, 703-352-9058 Fax. Items in this newsletter are provided for information purposes only; NVRC does not endorse products or services. This news service is free of charge, but donations are greatly appreciated.