Lethal storms usually are associated with tornadoes and hurricanes, the storms of the summer, but major winter storms can be just as deadly. Preparing for cold weather conditions and responding to them effectively can reduce the dangers caused by winter storms.
The types of winter storms include blizzards, blowing snow, snow squalls, snow showers, snow flurries and ice storms. The Southeastern and Gulf Coast states usually are more likely to experience only ice storms or occasional snowfall but do not underestimate the risks associated with these events.
Snow showers are when snow falls at varying intensities for brief periods of time. Some accumulation is possible. Snow flurries are light snowfalls for short durations with little or no accumulation. Ice storms usually occur when freezing rain or sleet is present.
When a winter storm warning is issued, take action, the storm is in or entering the area. Stay indoors during the storm. If you must go outside, several layers of lightweight clothing will keep you warmer than a single heavy coat. Gloves (or mittens) and a hat will prevent loss of body heat. Cover your mouth to protect your lungs.
There are different winter weather warnings to advise the public of adverse winter conditions.
If a Winter Storm WATCH is issued be alert, a storm is likely.
A Winter Weather ADVISORY is issued when winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous, especially to motorists.
A Frost or Freeze WARNING indicates below freezing temperatures are expected and may cause damage to plants, crops or fruit trees.