Friday, February 3, 2012

Winter Watch or Warning? What's the Difference?

“The snow was endless, a heavy blanket on the outdoors; it had a way about it. A beauty. But I knew that, like many things, beauty could be deceiving.”
― Cambria Hebert, Whiteout
I can never keep the weather warning terms straight. Which is worse, a watch or a warning? Here's what you need to know, listed in order of increasing severity:
  • Winter weather advisory: expect winter weather conditions to cause inconvenience and hazards.
  • Frost/freeze warning: expect below-freezing temperatures.
  • Winter storm watch: be alert; a storm is likely.
  • Winter storm warning: take action; the storm is in or entering the area.
  • Blizzard warning: seek refuge immediately! Snow and strong winds, near-zero visibility, deep snow drifts, and life-threatening wind chill.
Bottom Line

The CDC has put together some excellent booklets for winter preparedness.

See Winterindoor safety: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/duringstorm/indoorsafety.asp
And Winter Checklist: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/beforestorm/supplylists.asp

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