Winter Storms
Photo by Axel Taferner

Winter storms are something many Americans experience every year. Storms can range from moderate snowfall that lasts for only a few hours to blizzards that can last for days and leave you with numerous feet of snow. The size of winter storms vary. Some only affect a single community while other can spread across several states. These storms are often accompanied by strong, sometimes blinding winds, dangerously low temperatures, ice, sleet, and freezing rain.

On their website, the American Red Cross stresses that the best way to prepare for a winter storm is to stay informed and understand the different types of weather advisories your local meteorologist is giving you. Here are some of the different winter storm notices you may receive from your local news and weather channel:

Winter Storm Outlook – Winter storm conditions are possible in the next 2 to 5 days.

Winter Weather Advisory – Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life threatening.

Winter Storm Watch – Winter storm conditions are possible within the next 36 to 48 hours. People in a watch area should review their winter storm plans and stay informed about weather conditions.

Winter Storm Warning – Life-threatening, severe winter conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours. People in a warning area should take precautions immediately.

Winter weather has the ability to do a great deal of damage. Storms can knock out heat, power and communications services to your home or office, sometimes for days at a time. Winter storms have the potential to be deadly, especially for people who are on the road. The National Weather Service refers to winter storms as the “Deceptive Killers” because most deaths are indirectly related to the storm. Instead, people die in traffic accidents on icy roads and of hypothermia from prolonged exposure to cold.

This year, prepare for winter storms by visiting the American Red Cross’ website and downloading their Winter Storm Safety Checklist.


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