Winter Storms

Winter Weather Bulletins Issued by the National Weather Service

Winter Storm Watch

A major snow and/or ice storm is developing and may arrive within 24 to 48 hours.

Winter Weather Advisory

A light to moderate mix of rain, snow, sleet and/or freezing rain can be expected soon or is occurring now.

Winter Storm Warning

At least 6 inches of snow over a 12 hour period and/or significant amounts of freezing rain and gusty winds can be expected soon or is occurring now.

Ice Storm Warning

A quarter inch or more of ice accumulation on exposed surfaces is expected soon or is occurring now.

Blizzard Warning

Snow with sustained winds of 35 miles per hour causing visibility frequently below a quarter mile can be expected soon or is occurring now.

Snow Squall Warning

Gusty winds combined with snow and blowing snow to create localized white-outs is occurring now.

Local Travel Bulletins Issued by Your Emergency Services Division

Snow Condition Yellow

Hazardous driving conditions are widespread with heavy snow or ice, drifting, and limited visibility. Traffic is moving at reduced speeds with major highways being maintained in fair condition, but local roads may be impassable. Motorists are urged that if they must drive, use extreme care and allow for a significant drive time.

Snow Condition Red

Extremely hazardous driving conditions exist on major highways with heavy snow or ice, severe drifting, and extremely limited visibility. The majority of local roads are impassable. Traffic is stalling in some areas, and the storm is expected to continue or worsen. The entire road system may become completely unusable. Motorists are urged not to drive.

The Importance of Wind Chill

During the winter months, it's not only the actual temperature that we worry about, but the wind chill temperature as well. The Wind Chill is based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin caused by the combined effects of wind and cold. It is how cold the air feels to our skin. As the wind increases, heat is carried away from the body at an accelerated rate. The following is a chart that graphically correlates the properties of Air Temperature and Wind Speed.

Wind Chill Chart

Basic Automotive Winter Travel Equipment

  • At least 1 extra jug of windshield washer fluid
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Booster cables
  • Compass
  • Fire extinguisher
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight and spare batteries
  • Ice and snow scraper
  • Matches and paper towels in water proof container
  • Nonperishable high calorie food
  • Road maps
  • Sand or cat litter
  • Shovel
  • Tool kit
  • Tow rope
  • Water container