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Winter Storm Terms


Winter Weather Advisory: Winter weather conditions such as cold, ice or snow are expected to delay travel, cause major problems or create other types of dangerous conditions. 

Winter Storm Watch: Usually issued 24 hours before the start of the event. Means potential exists for six-inch accumulations or more of snow or ice. 

Winter Storm Warning: Usually issued within 12 hours of the start of the event. Means the occurrence of heavy snow, sleet or freezing rain is expected. 

Blizzard Warning: Heavy snow, high winds and dangerously low temperatures are expected. Blizzards can cause severe weather conditions, such as zero visibility and life-threatening wind-chill.

Carry a winter car kit that includes the following:

    • Flashlight and extra batteries
    • Tow chain or rope
    • Shovel
    • Bag of sand or salt
    • Extra mittens, coats, hats, boots
    • Windshield scraper
    • Blanket or sleeping bag
    • Emergency flares
  • Pull off the highway, stay calm and remain in your vehicle.
  • Do not set out on foot. A building may seem close but be too far to walk to in deep snow. Set your hazard lights to "flashing" and hang a cloth or distress flag from the window or radio antenna.
  • If you run your car engine to keep warm, open a window slightly for ventilation. This will protect you from possible carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Keep snow cleared away from your exhaust pipe.
  • Be careful not to use up battery power. Balance the use of radio, heat and lights.
  • In extreme cold, use road maps, seat covers, and floor mats for warmth. Use your coat as a blanket.
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