Weathering the winter season

Your guide to advisories, watches and warnings

The word winter brings many things to mind. For some, it’s bundling up to brave the cold temperatures, school snow closings, and fun-filled days of sledding. For others, it invokes treacherous commutes punctuated by blizzard conditions, slippery roads, and fender benders.  This winter, understanding the differences behind National Weather Service’s advisories, watches and warnings could save your life or someone you love by knowing the appropriate action to take.

Ice storm.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

Know the signs of winter weather

Before, during and after a storm, pay close attention to your local National Weather Service forecast for detailed information on the type of weather conditions expected, accumulations, possible impacts, as well as advisories, watches and warnings like these:

Beltway in snowstorm.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

Drive safer this winter

“Thousands of people die every year in weather-related traffic accidents,” says John Koch, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “The best way to avoid a tragedy is to be aware of weather conditions and limit travel when hazardous weather conditions exist.”

To keep safe, consider doing the following before driving in winter weather conditions, especially if the National Weather Service has issued warnings or watches in your area:

Be winter-weather wise!

To learn more, visit NOAA’s Winter Weather Safety and Awareness Web page.

Posted Feb. 7, 2013
NOAA logo.