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Winter Storm Watch and Warning Defined

March 1, 2009

By WeatherBug Sr. Meteorologist, Ryan Towell

Exclusive WeatherBug Video on Winter Weather

A Winter Storm Watch is issued when there is a potential for heavy snow or significant ice accumulations, usually within 24 to 36 hours.

A Winter Storm Warning is issued when heavy snow or significant ice accumulations are occurring or are imminent.

Winter storms may result in the loss of power, heat and telephone services and road closures, effectively isolating households for several days at a stretch. Most deaths during winter storms occur as an indirect result due to traffic accidents and hypothermia.

Prepare for potentially dangerous winter weather conditions by:

  • Keeping enough ready-to-eat food, water and heating fuel on-hand to get you by for at least 3-days.
  • Having available a flashlight, battery-powered radio and extra batteries.
  • Keeping your vehicle`s fuel tank half full or greater at all times.
  • Having a cold weather emergency kit in your car that includes blankets and clothing.
  • Dressing in layers and watching for signs of frostbite.

Source: National Weather Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency

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