NORTHEAST KANSAS
WINTER WEATHER AWARENESS DAY
  Monday December 1st, 2014

The National Weather Service Topeka will observe Winter Weather Awareness Day on Monday, December 1st.  Winter Weather Awareness Day is a day set aside each fall to prepare for the cold, snow, and ice expected during the winter season in Kansas. It is a day to promote safety preparedness for the potentially hazardous weather that winter brings each year.

Winter can mean rapidly changing weather that often catches people unprepared. Precipitation can begin as rain and quickly change to snow or freezing rain. As you travel, make sure to obtain the latest weather forecast and road conditions before you head out. Traveling even short distances in winter can mean dramatically different weather conditions.

 

2013 Winter Weather Information Packet

Fun Winter Facts

Related Links: Power Poles in Ice

 

Back to Selection Page

Winter Weather: NWS Products

Introduction
NWS Products
Wind Chill
Cold and the Body
Staying Safe

 


How the National Weather Service Keeps You Informed

It is important to understand the different types of information available to be able to take full advantage of these critical weather information services. The section below explains the primary ways the NWS informs you about upcoming severe winter weather - outlooks, watches, warnings, and advisories.

Outlook:

  • Timing: Up to seven days out
  • Issued when significant winter weather is possible, but does not guarantee the event will happen
  • Should be a "heads-up" to monitor later forecasts and information
  • Types of Outlooks: Hazardous Weather Outlooks and Weather Story graphic

Watch:

  • Timing: Two to three days before the event
  • Higher confidence that dangerous winter weather which could threaten life and property will occur
  • You should start taking necessary precautions in case the event happens
  • Types of Watches: Winter Storm, Blizzard, and Wind Chill

Warning:

  • Timing: Within 24 to 48 hours of the event
  • Issued when there is high confidence of a winter weather event which could threaten life or property
  • Is the most serious of the winter weather messages and indicates that action should be taken immediately to get ready for the storm
  • Types of Warnings: Winter Storm, Blizzard, Ice Storm, and Wind Chill

Advisory:

  • Timing: Within 24 to 36 hours of the event
  • Issued for winter precipitation that is not expected to produce significant risks to life and/or property, but could still impact travel or other activities.
  • Types of Advisories: Winter Weather, Freezing Rain, and Wind Chill

The table below breaks down the different outlooks, watches, warnings, and advisories issued by the National Weather Service in Des Moines, provides a definition for each product, and briefly explains how you should respond to them.

**For detailed information on how to respond to each threat, please see our Staying Safe page**

Product What It Means You Should...
Hazardous Weather Outlook Will there be any hazardous
winter weather in the next several days?

If any hazardous winter weather is expected, check back for later forecasts, information, and possible watches.

Latest Hazardous Weather Outlook

Winter Weather Advisory

When any of the following criteria is expected to occur:

1. Snow: Between 3 and 5 inches in 12 hours

2. Sleet: Less than 1/2 inch in the next 24 hours

3. Blowing Snow: Visibility occasionally reduced to 1/4 of a mile due to blowing snow with winds less than 35 mph.

On the Road: Unplowed/less traveled roads may be slick, so drive with caution. If blowing snow is occurring, drive at a safe speed and leave plenty of space between you and other drivers.

At Home: Make sure you have the proper snow removing equipment to clear your sidewalks and driveways.

Winter Storm
Warning

When any of the following criteria is expected to occur:

1. Snow: At least 6 inches or more in 12 hours or at least 8 inches in 24 hours

2. Sleet: 1/2 inch or more

3. A combination of 1 and/or 2, along with freezing rain and/or winds of at least 25 mph.

On the Road: Seriously consider postponing any non-essential driving. If you must drive, carry a winter survival kit in your car and be prepared for delays.

At Home: Make sure you have the proper snow removing equipment to clear your sidewalks and driveways. If an exceptionally high amount of snow is forecast, be prepared to remain at home for a day or two.

Blizzard
Warning

A combination of sustained winds or frequent wind gusts of at least 35 mph and visibilities of less than 1/4 of a mile due to snow and/or blowing snow for at least three straight hours.

On the Road: Refrain from driving except in emergency situations, especially in open country. Always carry a winter survival kit in your car if you must drive. High winds and white-out conditions will make driving extremely dangerous.

At Home: Be prepared to remain at home for a few days, especially if you live in a rural area. Snow drifts may be higher than 10 feet, so make sure you have the proper snow removing equipment.

Freezing Rain Advisory A freezing rain/drizzle event in which ice accumulations are expected to be less than 1/4 of an inch thick.

On the Road: Drive at a safe speed. Allow more space between you and the car ahead of you and be cautious when coming to a stop and making turns.

At Home: Be careful of slipping and falling when walking on untreated sidewalks and roads.

Ice Storm Warning A freezing rain event in which ice accumulations are expected to be 1/4 of an inch or more thick.

On the Road: Refrain from driving except in emergency situations. Roads will likely be treacherous and maintaining control of your car will be very difficult.

At Home: Be prepared for possible long duration power outages and refrain from walking on ice covered surfaces outside.

Wind Chill Advisory Wind chill values are expected to fall to between -20°F and -29°F with at least a 5 mph wind.

On the Road: Pack extra clothes and blankets in addition to your winter survival kit in your car in case you become stranded.

At Home: If you go outdoors, dress accordingly by wearing well-insulated hats and gloves and putting on extra layers of clothing to keep warm. Frostbite could take place in as little as 30 minutes.

Wind Chill Warning Wind chill values are expected to fall to -30°F or less with at least a 5 mph wind.

On the Road: Pack extra clothes and blankets in addition to your winter survival kit in your car in case you get stranded.

At Home: Seriously consider postponing any outdoor plans. Wear well insulated clothing if you must go outdoors. Frostbite could take place in as little as 10 minutes.

 


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