Winter Weather Awareness Day 2009

November 18th Marks Winter Weather Awareness Day

Ice on a tree

This November 18th, 2009 will mark Winter Weather Awareness Day, which in conjunction with the Kansas Emergency Management provides an opportunity to ensure that citizens of Kansas are prepared for hazardous conditions associated with winter weather.  When winter weather strikes, its effects are widely felt, and road conditions can deteriorate rapidly with the onset of icy weather.


Break down of winter weather terminology used by Meteorologists

Winter Weather Message:  Segmented product issued every few hours giving details and information on winter weather watches, warnings, advisories, cancellations and safety information.




Winter Storm Watch: Severe winter weather is possible in the affected area. May include; snow storm, ice storm, blizzard, dangerous wind chills, or a combination of these items. Issued 12 to 48 hours in advance.

Winter Storm Warning: Significant and possibly life-threatening severe winter weather will occur, or is about to begin. For example: snowfall of 6 inches in 12 hours and/or 8 inches in 24 hours, a mix or snow and freezing rain or sleet. Issued within 12 hours of conditions.

Blizzard Warning: Wind at least 35 mph with falling or blowing snow reducing visibility to under ¼ mile for at least three hours.

High Wind Warning: Wind gusts above 57 mph or sustained winds at 41 mph or higher, for at least an hour.

Ice Storm Warning: Heavy ice accumulation will cause dangerous and damaging situations, such as downed utility lines and icy roads.

Wind Chill Warning: Wind Chill values colder than 25 below zero.


Winter Weather Advisory: Any combination of winter events that cause significant inconvenience, but probably not life-threatening when caution is exercised. For example; 1-5 inches of snow, light sleet or freezing drizzle, some blowing and/or drifting snow etc…

Snow Advisory: New snowfall of 1 to 5 inches is expected.

Wind Advisory: Sustained winds between 31 and 40 mph.

Wind Chill Advisory: Wind chills of 15 below to 25 below zero.

Freezing Drizzle Advisory: Light ice coating on roads and highways, but no damage is expected to trees/power lines.

Blowing Snow Advisory: Wind-driven snow reducing visibility to ¼ mile or less.

Dense Fog Advisory: Widespread fog with visibility under ¼ mile.



US 2009 Winter Outlook for Precipitation

Above:  The 2009 US Winter Weather Outlook for precipitation; issued by the Climate Prediction Center.

US Winter Weather Outlook for Temperature

Above:  The 2009 US Winter Weather Outlook for temperature; issued by the Climate Prediction Center.

Wind Chill

Above:  This wind chill chart will help determine how cold your body feels when subjected to both cold temperatures and windy conditions.


Other useful links for Winter Weather

Daily Graphical Weather Story

Winter Weather Preparedness and Safety

Topeka Top 5 Records




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