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Preparing for when winter weather occurs

Published: Dec. 26, 2020 at 10:59 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Winter officially began on December 21st and while the Mid-Ohio Valley has already seen some snow, it is still important to be prepared for the different kinds of winter weather.

During the winter months the Mid-Ohio Valley can experience all different types of weather ranging from snow storms to even severe thunderstorms.

One of the best ways to be prepared for these different kinds of winter weather is by having an emergency kit in your car. In the emergency kit you will want to have supplies that include extra food and water, items to stay warm, a portable charger, a flashlight, extra batteries and some cat litter.

You will also want to make sure you have enough supplies at home to be able to heat and light your home safely in case the power goes out.

“Basically anything you need to make it through 72 hours without power, without emergency responders being able to get to you, said Tony Edwards, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, National Weather Service Charleston, WV. “If a major winter storm happens and you are cut off, you can’t travel, what do you need to make it through at least 3 days. It’s very personal I usually say food, water and medicine, but if you need other supplies. So think about that and get it together now why the weather is nice and then you have it for the winter.”

In the time leading up to winter weather events, meteorologists at the National Weather Service will issue advisories, watches and warnings to let residents know that they need to prepare for winter weather. It is important to know what these terms mean, so you know what to expect before the winter storm arrives.

Winter Weather Advisories are issued when snow, blowing snow, ice or sleet is expected, but conditions don’t meet the criteria for a warning. These are typically issued within 24 hours before the start of the winter weather.

Winter Storm Watches are issued when conditions are favorable for a significant winter storm are typically issued between 12 and 72 hours before the start of the winter storm.

Winter Storm Warnings are issued when snowfall of 4-6″ or more in 12 hours or 6-8″ or more in 24 hours, or sleet of a 1/2″ or more in 24 hours is expected.

While they are rare, we could also see Blizzard Warnings and Ice Storm Warnings.

Blizzard Warnings are issued for sustained wind gusts of 35 mph or higher, and visibility less than 1/4 mile in snow and/or blowing snow for 3 hours or longer.

Ice Storm Warnings are issued for ice accumulations of around 1/4″ or more.

It is also important to know that while we are in the winter season, severe thunderstorms can still occur during these winter months.

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