...WINTER WEATHER IMPACTS ON SOCIETY...PART 7...

...HEAVY SNOW IMPACTS...
DEEP...HEAVY SNOW CAN IMMOBILIZE A REGION AND PARALYZE A CITY. IT
CAN STRAND COMMUTERS...STOP THE FLOW OF SUPPLIES...AND DISRUPT
EMERGENCY AND MEDICAL SERVICES.

-LARGE ACCUMULATIONS OF SNOW CAN COLLAPSE ROOFS OF BUILDINGS AND
 KNOCK DOWN TREES AND POWER LINES.
-IN RURAL AREAS...HOMES AND FARMS MAY BE ISOLATED FOR DAYS...AND
 UNPROTECTED LIVESTOCK MAY BE LOST.
-THE COST OF SNOW REMOVAL...REPAIRING DAMAGES...AND LOSS OF
 BUSINESS CAN HAVE A LARGE ECONOMIC IMPACT ON CITIES AND TOWNS.

...WINTER STORM IMPACTS...

-STRONG WINDS COMBINED WITH SNOW CREATE BLIZZARD CONDITIONS WITH
 VERY LOW VISIBILITY...SEVERE DRIFTING...AND DANGEROUS WIND CHILLS.
-HEAVY WET SNOW OR ICE ACCUMULATION WITH STRONG WINDS CAN KNOCK
 DOWN TREES...UTILITY POLES AND POWER LINES.
-STORMS NEAR LAKE MICHIGAN OR LAKE SUPERIOR SHORELINES CAN CAUSE
 COASTAL FLOODING AND BEACH EROSION.

...ICE STORM IMPACTS...
ICE STORMS CAN BRING TRAVEL TO A STANDSTILL...AND ALSO RESULT
IN EXTENSIVE PROPERTY DAMAGE.

-HEAVY ACCUMULATIONS OF ICE CAN BRING DOWN TREES...UTILITY POLES...
 POWER LINES...AND COMMUNICATION TOWERS.
-COMMUNICATIONS AND POWER CAN BE DISRUPTED FOR DAYS WHILE
 UTILITY COMPANIES WORK TO REPAIR THE EXTENSIVE DAMAGE.
-EVEN SMALL ACCUMULATIONS OF ICE MAY CAUSE EXTREME HAZARDS TO
 MOTORISTS AND PEDESTRIANS. IT LIMITS VEHICLE TRACTION AND BRAKING
 ABILITY.

...GROUND BLIZZARD IMPACTS...
-THE SUN MAY BE SHINING...BUT STRONG WINDS IN EXCESS OF 40 MPH
 CAN PICK LOOSE...DRY SNOW OFF THE GROUND. THIS BLOWING SNOW CAN
 REDUCE VISIBILITIES TO ONLY A FEW FEET IN OPEN AREAS.
-SERIOUS MULTIPLE VEHICLE ACCIDENTS CAN RESULT..

...EXTREME COLD IMPACTS...
EXTREME COLD OFTEN ACCOMPANIES A WINTER STORM OR IS LEFT IN ITS
WAKE.

-PROLONGED EXPOSURE TO THE COLD CAN CAUSE FROSTBITE OR
 HYPOTHERMIA AND BECOME LIFE THREATENING. INFANTS AND ELDERLY
 PEOPLE ARE MOST SUSCEPTIBLE.
-PIPES MAY FREEZE AND BURST IN HOMES AND BUILDINGS THAT ARE
 POORLY INSULATED OR WITHOUT HEAT.

...DENSE FOG IMPACTS...
ANOTHER HAZARD IS DENSE FOG. VISIBILITIES MAY DROP TO NEAR ZERO...
MAKING IT IMPOSSIBLE TO SEE OTHER VEHICLES UNTIL IT IS TOO LATE.
IF MOTORISTS WOULD SLOW DOWN DURING DENSE FOG EVENTS THE NUMBER OF
VEHICLE ACCIDENTS WOULD BE MUCH LESS.

-ON AVERAGE...ABOUT 1200 VEHICLE ACCIDENTS OCCUR EACH YEAR
 IN WISCONSIN DURING DENSE FOG EPISODES...RESULTING IN ABOUT 15
 DEATHS AND 700 INJURIES.
-IN THE WORST CASES...THERE CAN BE A MULTIPLE VEHICLE ACCIDENT
 CONSISTING OF 15 TO 50 VEHICLES. YOU LITERALLY MAY NOT SEE THE
 VEHICLE IN FRONT OF YOU UNTIL IT IS TOO LATE.
-HISTORICALLY...THE MISSISSIPPI AND WISCONSIN RIVER VALLEYS
 TEND TO HAVE MORE DENSE FOG EVENTS. THIS IS DUE TO COLD AIR
 DRAINAGE AND MOISTURE EVAPORATION FROM THE RIVER WATERS.
-LOCATIONS NEAR LAKE SUPERIOR AND LAKE MICHIGAN ALSO TEND TO HAVE
 MORE DENSE FOG EVENTS COMPARED TO OTHER INLAND LOCATIONS.


FOR MORE INFORMATION ON WINTER WEATHER...VISIT...

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/winter     
http://weather.gov/mke/?n-winter-wx-awareness
http://readywisconsin.wi.gov
http://emergencymanagement.wi.gov

 

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