KNOW YOUR WINTER WEATHER TERMS

 

NOAA's National Weather Service urges residents to keep abreast of local forecasts and warnings and familiarize themselves with key weather terminology.

  1. Winter Storm Warning: Issued when hazardous winter weather in the form of heavy snow, heavy freezing rain, or heavy sleet is imminent or occurring. Winter Storm Warnings are usually issued 12 to 24 hours before the event is expected to begin.
  2. Winter Storm Watch: Alerts the public to the possibility of a blizzard, heavy snow, heavy freezing rain, or heavy sleet. Winter Storm Watches are usually issued 12 to 48 hours before the beginning of a Winter Storm.
  3. Winter Storm Outlook: Issued prior to a Winter Storm Watch. The Outlook is given when forecasters believe winter storm conditions are possible and are usually issued 3 to 5 days in advance of a winter storm.
  4. Blizzard Warning: Issued for sustained or gusty winds of 35 mph or more, and falling or blowing snow creating visibilities at or below ¼ mile; these conditions should persist for at least three hours.
  5. Lake Effect Snow Warning: Issued when heavy lake effect snow is imminent or occurring.
  6. Lake Effect Snow Advisory:Issued when accumulation of lake effect snow will cause significant inconvenience.
  7. Wind Chill Warning:Issued when wind chill temperatures are expected to be hazardous to life within several minutes of exposure.
  8. Wind Chill Advisory: Issued when wind chill temperatures are expected to be a significant inconvenience to life with prolonged exposure, and, if caution is not exercised, could lead to hazardous exposure.
  9. Winter Weather Advisories: Issued for accumulations of snow, freezing rain, freezing drizzle, and sleet which will cause significant inconveniences and, if caution is not exercised, could lead to life-threatening situations.
  10. Dense Fog Advisory: Issued when fog will reduce visibility to ¼ mile or less over a widespread area.
  11. Snow Flurries: Light snow falling for short durations. No accumulation or light dusting is all that is expected.
  12. Snow Showers: Snow falling at varying intensities for brief periods of time. Some accumulation is possible.
  13. Snow Squalls: Brief, intense snow showers accompanied by strong, gusty winds. Accumulation may be significant. Snow squalls are best known in the Great Lakes region.
  14. Blowing Snow: Wind-driven snow that reduces visibility and causes significant drifting. Blowing snow may be snow that is falling and/or loose snow on the ground picked up by the wind.
  15. Sleet: Rain drops that freeze into ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet usually bounces when hitting a surface and does not stick to objects. However, it can accumulate like snow and cause a hazard to motorists.
  16. Freezing Rain: Rain that falls onto a surface with a temperature below freezing. This causes it to freeze to surfaces, such as trees, cars, and roads, forming a coating or glaze of ice. Even small accumulations of ice can cause a significant hazard.


Prepare a Winter Storm Plan

  • Have extra blankets on hand.
  • Ensure that each member of your household has a warm coat, gloves or mittens, hat, and water-resistant boots.
Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit Containing--
  • First aid kit and essential medications.
  • Battery-powered NOAA Weather radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.
  • Canned food and can opener.
  • Bottled water (at least one gallon of water per person per day to last at least 3 days).
  • Extra warm clothing, including boots, mittens, and a hat.
  • Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit for your car, too.
  • Have your car winterized before winter storm season.

Stay Tuned for Storm Warnings. . .

  • Listen to NOAAWeather Radio and your local radio and TV stations for updated storm information.

Know What Winter Storm WATCHES and WARNINGS Mean

  • A winter storm WATCH means a winter storm is possible in your area.
  • A winter storm WARNING means a winter storm is headed for your area.
  • A blizzard WARNING means strong winds, blinding wind-driven snow, and dangerous wind chill are expected. Seek shelter immediately!

When a Winter Storm WATCH is Issued...

  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio, local radio, and TV stations, or cable TV such as The Weather Channel for further updates.
  • Be alert to changing weather conditions.
  • Avoid unnecessary travel.

When a Winter Storm WARNING is Issued...

  • Stay indoors during the storm.
  • If you must go outside, several layers of lightweight clothing will keep you warmer than a single heavy coat. Gloves (or mittens) and a hat will prevent loss of body heat. Cover your mouth to protect your lungs.
  • Understand the hazards of wind chill, which combines the cooling effect of wind and cold temperatures on exposed skin.
  • As the wind increases, heat is carried away from a person's body at an accelerated rated, driving down the body temperature.
  • Walk carefully on snowy, icy, sidewalks.
  • After the storm, if you shovel snow, be extremely careful. It is physically strenuous work, so take frequent breaks. Avoid overexertion.
  • Avoid traveling by car in a storm, but if you must...
    • Carry a Disaster Supplies Kit in the trunk.
    • Keep your car's gas tank full for emergency use and to keep the fuel line from freezing.
    • Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive. If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route.

If You Do Get Stuck...

  • Stay with your car. Do not try to walk to safety.
  • Tie a brightly colored cloth (preferably red) to the antenna for rescuers to see.
  • Start the car and use the heater for about 10 minutes every hour. Keep the exhaust pipe clear so fumes won't back up in the car.
  • Leave the overhead light on when the engine is running so that you can be seen.
  • As you sit, keep moving your arms and legs to keep blood circulating and to stay warm.
  • Keep one window away from the blowing wind slightly open to let in air.

What to Do After a Winter Storm

  • Continue listening to local radio or television stations or a NOAA Weather Radio for updated information and instructions. Access may be limited to some parts of the community, or roads may be blocked.
  • Help a neighbor who may require special assistance--infants, elderly people, and people with disabilities. Elderly people and people with disabilities may require additional assistance. People who care for them or who have large families may need additional assistance in emergency situations.
  • Avoid driving and other travel until conditions have improved. Roads may be blocked by snow or emergency vehicles.
  • Avoid overexertion. Heart attacks from shoveling heavy snow are a leading cause of deaths during winter.
  • Follow forecasts and be prepared when venturing outside. Major winter storms are often followed by even colder conditions.

 



EXTREME COLD

Illinois is famous for its cold winters. Heavy snow and extreme cold can immobilize an entire region. Even areas that normally experience mild winters can be hit with a major snow storm and low temperatures. The results can range from the havoc of cars trying to maneuver on ice-covered highways to isolation due to power outages and blocked roads. Whatever the case, winter storms can cause seasonal deaths and injuries. To protect yourself and your family from the many hazards of winter weather – blizzards, heavy snows, low temperatures, freezing rain, or sleet – follow these safety tips.

  • Wear several layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing.
  • Wear mittens instead of gloves.
  • Wear water-repellant clothing.
  • Wear a hat.
  • Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
  • Make sure small children, infants, and the elderly stay warm. They are more vulnerable to the cold.
  • Take advantage of warming centers, public park facilities, and heated stores and malls.
  • Where possible, try and keep one room in your home heated to 68-70 degrees.
  • Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages.
  • Eat high energy foods and drink warm beverages.
  • Beware of over-exertion; shoveling snow or pushing disabled cars can be very strenuous and should only be done by individuals in good health.

Safe heating tips

  • Electric heaters can be hazardous and should be used with caution to prevent shock, fire, and burns. Follow the usage instructions carefully and keep clothing and blankets away from heating elements.
  • Carbon monoxide can kill. Be careful using fireplaces; make sure flues are clear and properly ventilated.
  • Gas ovens, burners, and charcoal should never be used to heat your home.
  • NEVER use generators in homes, garages, basements, crawl spaces, or other enclosed or partially enclosed areas, even with ventilation.

Safe use of the car in cold weather

  • Make sure your car is in good operating condition before using it in extreme cold.
  • Keep condensation (water) out of your gas tank by keeping the tank as full as possible.
  • Maintain a storm kit in your car with items such as a cell phone and charger; blankets; extra clothing; jumper cables; a flashlight; high-calorie, non-perishable food; and matches or a lighter.
  • Plan your trip carefully. If cold, snowy, or icy conditions exceed your ability or your car's ability, don't travel.
  • Tell someone about your travel plans.
  • Never leave the motor running in a vehicle parked in an enclosed or partially enclosed space, such as a garage.
Sunday, February 25, 2018. Village of Matteson, Matteson, Illinois. All Rights Reserved. All information provided is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. This website is best viewed in 1024x768.
SiteLock