Winter Weather Preparedness Week

Nov 11, 2015: This week is the National Weather Service’s Winter Weather Preparedness Week in Illinois! The point of the week is to help get you ready BEFORE the snow starts falling.

We are going to start out with a few terms used during severe winter weather. Make sure you familiarize yourself with these terms, so you know what the warnings means and how to get ready for them.

forecast

As with spring/summer severe weather, any time a WATCH is issued (like a Winter Storm Watch, or a Wind Chill Watch), that means hazardous weather is looming, so get ready now. Watches are usually issued 24 to 72 hours ahead of dangerous winter weather.

An ADVISORY is issued when hazardous winter weather will occur soon (12 to 36 hours from the issue time), or is occurring. “Hazardous” weather means the conditions are not life-threatening, BUT you’ll need to exercise caution, as the weather conditions may be harmful if you aren’t careful. Example: a Winter Weather Advisory is usually issued for a few inches of snow (say, 2″ to 4″).  This isn’t dangerous, as long as you take it slower on the roads.

A WARNING means dangerous (life-threatening) conditions will occur soon or are occurring. This is when you should try to stay indoors and off the roads as much as possible, because the weather is very hazardous, either from the cold, snow, wind, or a combination of all of those.

By the time a warning or advisory has been issued, you should be ready! Don’t wait until the warning or advisory starts, because it might be too late to avoid the hazardous weather. Stock up and have the necessary clothing ahead of time.

We’ll be sharing more facts from the National Weather Service all throughout the week, so stay tuned!

– Alex

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This post was written by Alex Kirchner on November 16, 2015

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