Important terms to know in order to stay safe during winter

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FARMERSBURG, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — This week is Indiana’s Winter Weather Preparedness Week. We have some winter terms you should be aware of heading into the cold months.

Although NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center Winter 2021-2022 Outlook favors both above normal temperatures and precipitation, everyone must be prepared for all types of winter weather and should know the difference in winter weather terminology that are issued and defined by the National Weather Service.

This past February we had a nearly eight inch snowstorm and were under a Winter Storm Warning. That was the only time last winter we were placed under one. 

A Winter Storm Warning is issued when heavy snow, freezing rain or heavy sleet is forecasted. 
Other terms to know heading into mid-November are Winter Storm Watches and Winter Weather Advisories. 

A Winter Storm Watch alerts the public that a significant snow, ice or sleet storm has the potential to impact your area.

A Winter Weather Advisory, which we had a few times last winter, is issued for winter weather events that can be dangerous but are not severe enough to issue a warning. This can be issued for blowing snow, freezing precipitation, wind or dense fog.

Other terms that can occur but are very rare in our area are Ice Storm, Blizzard and Snow Squall Warnings.

The NWS also has ways you can stay safe this winter, including making sure you have food and water for up to three days (one gallon of water per person per day), flashlights and batteries, a weather radio, first aid kid, medicine, extra cash, cell phone and a blanket in your home. 

Winter Weather Preparedness Week in Illinois kicks off Monday, Nov. 15.

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