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Know your winter weather terms

The National Weather Service urges residents to keep abreast of local forecasts and warnings and familiarize themselves with key weather terminology.

Winter Storm Warning:  Issued when hazardous winter weather in the form of heavy snow, heavy freezing rain, or heavy sleet is imminent or occurring. Winter Storm Warnings are usually issued 12 to 24 hours before the event is expected to begin.

Winter Storm Watch:  Alerts the public to the possibility of a blizzard, heavy snow, heavy freezing rain, or heavy sleet. Winter Storm Watches are usually issued 12 to 48 hours before the beginning of a Winter Storm.

Winter Storm Outlook:  Issued prior to a Winter Storm Watch. The Outlook is given when forecasters believe winter storm conditions are possible and are usually issued 3 to 5 days in advance of a winter storm.

Blizzard Warning:  Issued for sustained or gusty winds of 35 mph or more, and falling or blowing snow creating visibilities at or below ¼ mile; these conditions should persist for at least three hours.

Lake Effect Snow Warning:  Issued when heavy lake effect snow is imminent or occurring.

Lake Effect Snow Advisory:  Issued when accumulation of lake effect snow will cause significant inconvenience.

Wind Chill Warning:  Issued when wind chill temperatures are expected to be hazardous to life within several minutes of exposure.

Wind Chill Advisory:  Issued when wind chill temperatures are expected to be a significant inconvenience to life with prolonged exposure, and, if caution is not exercised, could lead to hazardous exposure.

Winter Weather Advisories:  Issued for accumulations of snow, freezing rain, freezing drizzle, and sleet which will cause significant inconveniences and, if caution is not exercised, could lead to life-threatening situations.

Dense Fog Advisory:  Issued when fog will reduce visibility to ¼ mile or less over a widespread area.

Snow Flurries:  Light snow falling for short durations. No accumulation or light dusting is all that is expected.

Snow Showers:  Snow falling at varying intensities for brief periods of time. Some accumulation is possible.

Snow Squalls:  Brief, intense snow showers accompanied by strong, gusty winds. Accumulation may be significant. Snow squalls are best known in the Great Lakes region.

Blowing Snow:  Wind-driven snow that reduces visibility and causes significant drifting. Blowing snow may be snow that is falling and/or loose snow on the ground picked up by the wind.

Sleet:  Rain drops that freeze into ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet usually bounces when hitting a surface and does not stick to objects. However, it can accumulate like snow and cause a hazard to motorists.

Freezing Rain:  Rain that falls onto a surface with a temperature below freezing. This causes it to freeze to surfaces, such as trees, cars, and roads, forming a coating or glaze of ice. Even small accumulations of ice can cause a significant hazard.

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The Latest News Headlines

  • Six people were shot early Monday in a Florida neighborhood, the Sanford Police Department said. The shooting was reported shortly before 6:30 a.m. at a home on Hays Drive in Sanford, police said. >> Read more trending news Investigators said a gunman went to the home of someone he knows and shot two adults, an 8-year-old boy and a 7-year-old boy. One adult died. The other adult and the two children were taken to a hospital in critical condition, investigators said. Detectives said the gunman then fled the home and randomly shot two bystanders in the roadway, critically wounding them both. An officer who was in the area was able to subdue the gunman, who was arrested, police said. Authorities did not immediately identify the victims or the suspected gunman. Investigators said the initial shooting appeared to be domestic in nature. No other details were given. Check back at WFTV.com for updates.
  • A number of questions remain, after a woman was found dead on the Northside.   According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, the woman was found dead inside a home off 59th Street, though they aren't revealing how she died or her identity at this time.   However, police tell us the woman's car is missing.   They're now trying to find the gold 2010 Buick Lacrosse, with Florida tag 275LLJ.
  • A couple has been indicted on accusations that they murdered their deaf teenage son and then burned down their house to cover up the crime, the Associated Press reported. >> Read more trending news  According to the Chenango County Sheriff’s Office in New York, Ernest F. Franklin II, 35, and his wife, Heather Franklin, 33, of Guilford, New York, were charged with second-degree murder, arson and tampering with physical evidence. The two were indicted Friday on charges of second-degree murder in the death of their adopted son, 16-year-old Jeffrey Franklin, People magazine reported. Following an investigation of a fire on March 1 at the family’s 1,300-square-foot home, the couple was arrested. Investigators believe they set fire to their home to cover up the killing of their son. An autopsy determined he died prior to the fire, according to the sheriff’s office. Local law authorities have not said how or when the boy was killed. The Franklins got married in 2011 and adopted Jeffrey six or seven years ago, the sheriff’s office said. According to People magazine, Ernest is an Iraq War veteran. Heather wrote in posts on her Facebook page that she is pregnant. The Franklins are being held without bail. They entered a plea of not guilty. “People are asking themselves, ‘How could this happen?'” Chenango County Sheriff Ernest Cutting Jr. told People magazine. “Certainly for the public here, it’s a mix of anger and frustration and disappointment.” Just days before Heather Franklin was arrested, she posted an update on her Facebook page about how much she missed her son, who she called JR. She also informed friends and family that she and her husband had added their “needs” and “wants” to the CheckedTwice.com Family Gift Registry because they lost everything in the fire. A GoFundMe page was also established, but it has been taken down. The Associated Press reported that police who responded to a 911 call about 1:15 a.m. on March 1 found the Franklin’s house, located about an hour away from Syracuse, engulfed in flames. Jeffrey was inside and unable to escape the fire, according to the sheriff’s office. Authorities initially said the cause of the fire appeared to be a wood stove, the residence’s main heating source. “People are wondering how anybody could do something so brutal to a developmentally disabled and handicapped 16-year-old boy,” Cutting told People. “There are a lot of people who would have taken him. There are organizations that would have taken care of him. Why resort to that? … It’s just a terrible, terrible tragedy.”
  • A beloved music teacher from San Jose Elementary will no doubt be on the hearts and minds of students and staff as they return from spring break. Deborah Liles was found dead in her Panama Park home on the northside late last week. Her car was recovered over the weekend not far from her home. Liles' gold 2010 Buick LaCrosse was found on Golfair Boulevard on Saturday and JSO is now asking for the public's help identifying who was driving it.  Neighbors said police found the car behind an abandoned house near Notter Avenue. Police call the case a murder, and Liles’ children said she'd been a victim of several crimes in the past. “I don’t know about the circumstances. I don’t know if they’re coincidences happening. I don’t know if there’s a connection between what happened then and what happened now,' Liles' daughter Rachel Sirmans said. 'We really want to find those answers.” 'Just the condolences, completely unknown numbers that text us…I was your mother's music student in third grade and I'm in high school now”, said Liles’ son Gerald. JSO says this is an active ongoing investigation.   Anyone who knows anything about this murder is asked to contact the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or email JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. To remain anonymous and receive a possible reward up to $3,000 contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.
  • Hannah Eimers, 17, was driving her father’s car in November when she lost control of the vehicle and slammed into a guardrail on the driver’s side, killing her. Months later, Eimers’ father received a bill from the Tennessee Department of Transportation to replace the guardrail. According to the Knoxville News-Sentinel, Steven Eimers got the $3,000 bill four months after Hannah’s death but refused to pay it and called the model of the guardrail “horribly designed.” He told the News-Sentinel that he couldn't believe that the state would “bill my daughter for the defective device that killed her.” >> Read more trending news Rather than deflecting the car or absorbing its impact, the guardrail, which was removed from the department’s list of approved products a week before the crash, reportedly impaled the vehicle and struck Hannah in the head and chest, killing her instantly. “I’m shocked,” Eimers told the News-Sentinel. “The audacity. What bothers me is that they’re playing Russian roulette with people’s lives. They know these devices do not perform at high speeds and in situations like my daughter’s accident, but leave them in place.” Mark Nagi, a spokesman for the Tennessee Department of Transportation, insisted that the bill was sent as a result of a “mistake somewhere in processing' and apologized. He also said Eimers will not have to pay the bill, which covered both the cost of labor and materials. Read more here.

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