Winter Weather Awareness Day is November 7, 2013

Winter Weather Awareness Day
November 7, 2013

Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department and the National Weather Service have declared November 7, 2013 as Winter Weather Awareness Day in Iowa. Winter weather is a seasonal hazard in Iowa which can lead to life-threatening conditions. Understanding winter weather hazards and how to prepare for them can save lives.

On November 7, 2013 the National Weather Service in Des Moines will issue a Public Information Statement concerning winter weather safety. Media interviews are also encouraged to increase awareness about this weather threat. In addition, we will be hosting a social media open house on Facebook and Twitter, which will allow social media users to ask meteorologist at the National Weather Service questions related to winter weather and winter weather preparedness.




Here is an informative brochure about winter weather hazards and preparedness (pdf).

Here is a link to the National Weather Service Des Moines winter weather preparedness website.

For more information about winter weather forecasting at the National Weather Service, check out our YouTube Video:



Some safety tips during winter storms include:

  • Stay inside your house. Plummeting temperatures and high winds that often accompany winter storms allow frostbite and hypothermia to set in quickly if you are outside.
  • Monitor local media outlets for the latest information on the storm
  • If you lose power and have a generator, be sure to carefully follow all directions provided with the generator. Carbon monoxide poisoning and fires from improper generator usage can be deadly!  Never use a portable generator indoors.
  • If you must go out, be sure to wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.
  • If you must drive, be sure to travel in the day, do not travel alone and be sure to tell somebody where you are headed and your intended route.
  • Stay on the main roads and avoid back roads and shortcuts.
  • Make sure you have an emergency kit in your car.

What is Wind Chill?

The wind chill temperature is not the actual air temperature, it is a “feels like” temperature when one factors in cold temperatures AND wind speeds. Increasing winds will accelerate the amount of heat lost by the body via exposed skin, driving down the body temperature. Animals are also affected by wind chill.

The wind chill chart below was developed based on joint U.S.-Canadian research. The chart includes a frostbite indicator, showing the points where temperature, wind speed and exposure time will produce frostbite on humans. Each shaded area shows how long a person can be exposed before frostbite develops.


Note: Wind chill temperature is only defined for temperatures at or below 50°F and wind speeds above 3 mph. Bright sunshine may increase the wind chill temperature by 10 to 18°F.

Información en Español (Listo América)

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