Preparing for Winter Conditions

 

Winter is just around the corner and now is a great time to be thinking ahead about the eventual hazards that occur across western Kansas. While most of us stay home from work or school during severe winter weather, National Weather Service meteorologists here at Dodge City are hard at work. Twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year, our staff make sure the latest forecasts, watches and warnings get out to emergency managers, the media, and to you.  Don't forget to visit our Facebook page for additional information.  You can also follow us via Twitter!  Our twitter name is @NWSDodgeCity or just click here.

Are You Prepared for Winter Weather?

Winter type weather too often catches people unprepared. Researchers say that 70 percent of the fatalities related to ice and snow occur in automobiles, and about 25 percent of all winter related fatalities are people that are caught off guard, out in the storm. What winter weather preparations have you made and what are the appropriate steps to take that will ensure your winter weather safety?

Getting the Latest Winter Weather Information

There is no better way to keep ahead of a winter storm than with NOAA Weather Radio (NWR), a small receiver device that can be purchased at many electronic stores. As the "Voice of the National Weather Service," it provides continuous broadcasts of the latest weather information from local National Weather Service offices. The NWR network has more than 425 stations, covering all 50 states, adjacent coastal waters, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and U.S. Pacific Territories. In Kansas a list of radio broadcasts can be found clicking here. Weather radios come in many sizes, with a variety of functions and costs. The NWR network has been further advanced by the implementation of Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) technology. The SAME allows the user to receive warnings only for their specific location. SAME receivers are a live-saving tool, providing audible alert tones for any weather warnings. A NOAA Weather Radio is a useful and potentially life-saving gift idea this holiday season.

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 6 or more inches of snow is expected in the next 12 hours, or 8 or more inches in 24 hours or sleet is expected to accumulate to more than 1/2 inch.  An Ice Storm warning is issued when 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. 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 on this story, visit the Winter Weather Awareness web page at: http://www.weather.gov/om/winter

Why is Predicting the Exact Amount of Snowfall So Challenging?

Snow forecasts continue to improve, but they remain a challenging task for meteorologists. Heavy snow often falls in small bands that are hard to discern on larger resolution computer models. In addition, extremely small temperature differences define the boundary line between rain and snow.

 

Safety Tips Before, During and After the Storm

http://www.ready.gov/winter

  

The Dangers of Wind Chill

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/windchill/index.shtml

 



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