Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Winter Weather Awareness Week

October 16-22 is Winter Weather Awareness Week.

This is an excellent time for all individuals, families, businesses, schools, radio and television stations to review their winter weather preparedness plans. It is especially important for persons new to the region to become familiar with NOAA's National Weather Service Watch and Warning definitions, as well as winter weather safety procedures.

Learn more at http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/pqr/winterawareweek.php.

Winter in the Pacific Northwest can be quite hazardous, with snow and ice in the mountains, heavy rains on the coast, and even biting cold with dangerous wind chill across the Columbia Basin. All areas of the Pacific Northwest have experienced nearly every type of winter weather possible, from blizzards to ice, from flooding rains to bitter cold.

Each year, dozens of Amercians die due to prolonged exposure to the cold. Major winter storms can last several days, and be accompanied by strong winds, freezing rain or sleet, heavy snowfall, cold temperatures, and various forms of flooding. Heavy snow in the mountains is important for the skiing industry, and for filling reservoirs. However, these storms also produce travel dangers and create life threatening conditions.

To help our communities learn more about these dangers, NOAA's National Weather Service will issue the following Public Information Statements throughout the week to give safety information, and help you know how to respond when severe weather threatens:

October 16 : Introduction to Winter Weather and Awareness
October 17 : Winter Weather Safety...Terminology, and Dissemination
October 18 : Winter Weather Outlooks, Watches, Warnings and Advisories
October 19 : Blizzards, Snow & Ice Storms, Wind Chill, and Avalanches
October 20 : Floods
October 21 : Windstorms (east and west of Cascades)
October 22 : Summary of Winter Weather and Awareness

Remember, in times of hazardous winter weather, you can get all these vital NOAA/National Weather Service messages via NOAA Weather Radio, your favorite local media, or through NOAA's National Weather Service websites.