Understanding Winter Storms : Be Winter Storm Ready

It is hard to know when winter storms will hit year-to-year.  But this year, make sure you are prepared for any that come our way.  Winter storms are seen when the temperatures drop and there may be ice, sleet, snow or freezing rain.

There are many different types of winter storms.  Sometimes, there is only a day or two of snowy powder and sometimes there is an icy mess.  During these times, it is important to listen to the radio or TV and have an idea of what to expect.  These are some of the phrases you may hear:

  • Winter Storm Outlook – This means that there is a winter storm that is expected within the next 2 to 5 days.  If you hear this, it may be a good time to make sure that you have everything you need in case the storm actually hits.
  • Winter Weather Advisory – This means that winter weather conditions are expected and may cause problems.  If there is a winter weather advisory, caution should be used and it may be unsafe to travel.
  • Winter Storm Watch – This means that winter storms are possible within the next 36 to 48 hours.  If a winter storm watch is given in your area, you should make sure that you stay up-to-date on the weather conditions.
  • Winter Storm Warning – This means that winter storms either have begun or will begin within the next 24 hours.   Make sure that you and your family take precautions.

To make sure that you are prepared for a winter storm, it is recommended that you have rock salt or a similar product ready.  This will help melt ice on driveways, sidewalks and areas around the house such as steps.  It is also recommended that you keep the gas tank closer to full.  Having a fuller tank will actually keep the gas lines from freezing in your car.

Make sure to stay safe this winter and watch out for these warnings and watches.

Source:  Nicole Peritore, Extension Specialist for Family Health; University of Kentucky; College of Agriculture, Food and Environment

Find more resources by reaching out to your Kentucky County Extension Service and here: https://www.ready.gov/resources