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NWS Shares Tips for Winter Preparedness Week: December 5th – 11th

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By Cara Beth Lewis

As we approach winter, it is important to remember tips that can make the upcoming season more safe and comfortable. Taking simple precautionary steps in case of severe winter weather is worth the effort. The National Weather Service in Wilmington will share tips in the upcoming weeks on how to prepare for winter on social media. NWSWilmingtonNC.

In our area, we typically do not experience much snow, however, chilly winter temperatures do bring sleet, ice, and sometimes snow. Thousands of people are killed each year due to the dangers of icy, slippery roads. Read more about how you can stay safe while driving on icy roads here: tips.shtml.

According to weather.gov, “Winter weather-related Warnings, Watches and Advisories are issued by your local National Weather Service office. Each office knows the local area and will issue Warnings, Watches, or Advisories based on local criteria. For example, the amount of snow that triggers a “Winter Storm Warning” in the Northern Plains is typically much higher than the amount needed to trigger a “Winter Storm Warning” in the Southeast.”

In order to be adequately prepared, it is important to understand exactly what you are preparing for. Weather.gov offers the information listed below to help understand winter weather terminology.

  • Freezing Rain: Rain that freezes when it hits the ground; creating a coating of ice on roads, walkways, trees and power lines.

  • Sleet: Rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes moisture on roads to freeze and become slippery.

  • Wind Chill: A measure of how cold people feel due to the combined effect of wind and cold temperatures; the Wind Chill Index is based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin. Both cold temperatures and wind remove heat from the body; as the wind speed increases during cold conditions, a body loses heat more quickly. Eventually, the internal body temperature also falls and hypothermia can develop. Animals also feel the effects of wind chill; but inanimate objects, such as vehicles and buildings, do not. They will only cool to the actual air temperature, although much faster during windy conditions.

Just like if you are preparing for a hurricane or other severe weather, it is a great idea to be prepared for extreme winter weather that could potentially cause power outages, road closures, and more. Having supplies on hand such as food, batteries, medication, blankets and warm clothing, and water can be very helpful in a time where you may be unable to obtain more supplies.

The graphic below shows tips on how to properly dress for winter weather.

Do your own research and decide what is best for you and your family in order to be prepared for whatever “Mother Nature” may throw your way. Make a list of essential items, and make sure you have them on hand in case of an emergency. Throughout the upcoming week, keep your eye on NWS social media for more preparedness tips: NWSWilmingtonNC.