EasyDNNNewsSearch

Do you know your Winter Weather?

Do you know your Winter Weather?

Forget if a Warning is more urgent than an Advisory?

Winter is finally here in Montana. Winter weather can affect a widespread area, sometimes even the entire state for long periods of time causing numerous economic and societal impacts. Just in Montana since 2000, 27 people have lost their lives in extreme winter weather conditions with many more injuries. We can work together to plan ahead and prepare for these winter weather impacts through education. Automobile accidents, avalanches, and cold weather exposure are the main causes of winter weather related deaths in Montana.

 

On average, weather-related vehicle crashes kill 6,250 people and injure more than 480,000 each year. Snow or ice can create particularly dangerous driving conditions. Remember to slow down, leave plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front of you, and give yourself extra time to reach your destination. Also, make sure that your mobile phone is fully charged—it could become your lifeline if disaster should strike. Power outages are also common during winter storms or episodes of extreme cold. Have a plan and make sure your home, office and vehicle are well supplied with emergency items, such as extra blankets and warm layers. Remember to think about your pets and livestock needs and have their essentials available before the storm hits. Stay informed this winter and understand the meaning of watches, warnings and advisories.

 

Winter Weather

Watches

Criteria / Definition

Winter Storm Watch

Conditions are favorable for hazardous winter weather conditions including heavy snow, blizzard conditions, or significant accumulations of freezing rain or sleet in the next 12 to 48 hours. It may also include wind chills if they are expected with the above listed events.

Blizzard Watch

Conditions are favorable for blizzard conditions in the next 12 to 48 hours.

Wind Chill Watch

Conditions are favorable for dangerous wind chills in the next 12 to 48 hours.

Winter Weather

Warnings

Criteria / Definition

Winter Storm Warning

Any one or a combination of the following (some areas may have more specific criteria):

Eastern and Southeast Montana: 6 inches or more in 12 hours or 8 inches or more in 24 hours and/or significant societal impacts likely.

Western, North-Central and Southwest Montana: Not based solely on snow amounts. Issued when hazardous winter weather conditions, consisting of heavy snow and/or blowing snow, significant accumulations of freezing rain or sleet will cause significant societal impacts.

Blizzard Warning

Sustained or frequent gusts of 35 mph or more, frequent visibilities of ≤ 1/4 mile, falling and/or blowing snow for 3 hours or more.

Ice Storm Warning

Issued when significant and damaging accumulations of ice are expected, generally a 1/4" accumulation or more.

Wind Chill Warning

East of the Divide: Wind chills of ≤ -40 degrees with winds ≥ 10 mph, no precipitation occurring.

West of the Divide: Wind chills of ≤ -20 degrees with winds ≥ 10 mph, no precipitation occurring.

Wind Chill Chart

Winter Weather

Advisories

Criteria / Definition

Winter Weather Advisory

Any one or a combination of the following (the elevations are generalized in this criteria, some areas may have more specific criteria):

Eastern and Southeast Montana:

-2 to 5 inches of snow in 12 hours at or below pass level

-Wind driven snow that occasionally reduces visibilities down to a 1/4 mile

-Sleet accumulations of less than a 1/2"

-An event that transitions to or from freezing rain into any of the above criteria

Western, North-Central and Southwest Montana:

Not based solely on snow amounts. Issued when winter weather conditions consisting of snow and/or blowing snow, freezing rain or sleet with minor to moderate societal impacts are likely. Advisories are typically not issued for areas above pass level.

Wind Chill Advisory

East of the Divide: Wind chills of -20 degrees to -39 degrees with winds of ≥ 10 mph, no precipitation occurring.

West of the Divide: Wind chills of -10 degrees to -19 degrees with winds of ≥ 10 mph, no precipitation occurring.

Wind Chill Chart

Freezing Rain

Advisory

Glazing of freezing drizzle or freezing rain for a few hours with accumulations of less than 1/4 inch. It generally covers less than 50% of the area.

Have a Winter Safety Plan

 

At Home and Work

The primary concerns during a winter storm are loss of heat, power and telephone service and a shortage of supplies if storm conditions continue for more than a day. Have these items available:

  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Battery powered NOAA Weather Radio
  • Extra food and water
  • Extra medicine and baby items
  • First-aid supplies
  • Emergency heat source
  • Heating fuel
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Smoke alarm - Test once a month
  • Make sure pets and livestock have plenty of food, water and shelter

In Vehicles

Plan your travel and check the latest weather reports to avoid the storm. Fully check and winterize your vehicle before the winter season begins. Carry a winter storm survival kit with these items:

  • Mobile phone and charger
  • Blankets/sleeping bags
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • Extra clothing
  • Shovel
  • Windshield scraper and brush
  • Tool kit
  • Tow rope
  • Battery booster cables
  • Water container
  • Compass and road maps
  • High-calorie, non-perishable food
  • Small can and waterproof matches to melt snow for drinking water
  • Knife

On the Farm/Pets

Take these steps before the storm hits to ensure the safety of your pets and animals:

  • Move animals to sheltered areas
  • Haul extra feed to nearby feeding areas
  • Have water available. Most animals die from dehydration in winter storms

Make sure pets have plenty of food, water and shelter

  • 28 October 2016
  • Author: Okeson, Jannel
  • Number of views: 1224
  • Comments: 0
Tags:
Print

Name:
Email:
Subject:
Message:
x

Navigation Blocks_Text/HTML