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Winter Weather Tip Sheet
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Winter Weather Tip Sheet

Winter Weather Tip Sheet

Winter Weather Tip Sheet

A Major Winter Storm is Moving Up the East Coast. How is it Monitored and Forecast?

Have you ever wondered how the National Weather Service can tell a major winter storm is brewing and will impact your area in the coming days or hours? How can meteorologists tell if a storm is intensifying and where it will bring the most snow? It's a highly sophisticated process. It all starts with observing the current situation. The National Weather Service operates a widespread network of observing systems such as geostationary satellites. Doppler radars, and automated surface observing systems that constantly monitor the current state-of-the-art numerical computer models to provide a glimpse of what will happen next - ranging from hours to days. The models are then analyzed by NWS meteorologists who use their experience and expertise to write and disseminate forecasts. Want to learn more about the technologies? Visit the following web page: www.nws.noaa.gov.

Winter Weather Watches, Warnings and Advisories- What do they all Mean?

The National Weather Service uses specific winter weather terms to ensure that people know what to expect in the coming days and hours . A Winter Storm Watch means that severe winter conditions, such as heavy snow and/or ice, may affect your area, but its occurrence, location and timing are still uncertain. A winter storm watch is issued to provide 12 to 36 hours notice of the possibility of severe winter weather. A winter storm watch is intended to provide enough lead time so those who need to set plans in motion can do so. A watch is upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning when 4 or more inches of snow or sleet is expected in the next 12 hours, or 6 or more inches in 24 hours, or 1/4 inch or more of ice accretion is expected. Winter Weather Advisories inform you that winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences that may be hazardous. If caution is exercised, advisory situations should not become life-threatening. A Blizzard Warning means that snow and strong winds will combine to produce a blinding snow (near zero visibility), deep drifts, and life-threatening wind chill. Be sure to listen carefully to the radio, television, and NOAA Weather Radio for the latest winter storm watches, warnings, and advisories. For additional information on this story, visit the Winter Weather Awareness web page at: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/winter

Why is Predicting the Exact Amount of Snowfall So Challenging?

Snow forecasts continue to improve, but they remain a challenging task for meteorologists. Heavy snow often falls in small bands that are hard to discern on larger resolution computer models. In addition, extremely small temperature differences define the boundary line between rain and snow.

Will the approaching storm bring heavy snowfall to your area?

Each winter, meteorologists at the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., monitor weather data from across the nation for developing bands of heavy snow and freezing precipitation, as well as lightning, within weather systems. Their ability to provide additional information about developing situations enhances winter storm warnings and helps National Weather Service field offices, private industry and local governments improve preparedness. For instance, a prediction of eight inches of snow carries much greater consequences for a city's rush hour than four inches. Want to learn more about the Storm Prediction Center's operations? For additional information visit the Storm Prediction Center web page at http://www.spc.noaa.gov.

Are You Prepared for Winter Weather?

Winter weather too often catches people unprepared. Researchers say that 70 percent of the fatalities related to ice and snow occur in automobiles, and about 25 percent of all winter related fatalities are people that are caught off guard, out in the storm. What winter weather preparations are being made in your area, and what are the appropriate steps to take that will ensure your winter weather safety? Help your readers, viewers and listeners make sure their homes and cars are ready for the worst winter has to offer.

Getting the Latest Winter Weather Information

There is no better way to keep ahead of a winter storm than with NOAA Weather Radio (NWR), a small receiver device that can be purchased at many electronic stores. As the "Voice of the National Weather Service," it provides continuous broadcasts of the latest weather information from local National Weather Service offices. The NWR network has more than 425 stations, covering all 50 states, adjacent coastal waters, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and U.S. Pacific Territories. Weather radios come in many sizes, with a variety of functions and costs. The NWR network has been further advanced by the implementation of Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) technology. The SAME allows the user to receive warnings only for their specific location. SAME receivers are a live-saving tool, providing audible alert tones for any weather warnings. A NOAA Weather Radio is a useful and potentially life-saving gift idea this holiday season.

What is Wind Chill?

One of the gravest dangers of winter weather is wind chill. The wind chill is based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin by combined effects of wind and cold. As the wind increases, heat is carried away from the body at an accelerated rate, driving down the body temperature. Animals are also effected by wind chill. Check out the wind chill chart on the Internet at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/er/iln/tables.htm#wind.

NOAA's Snow and Ice Center

The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) serves as the national information center that supports research in glaciers and freezing weather phenomenon. The NSIDC archives snow and ice data, and maintains information about everything from avalanches to icebergs. The NSIDC web site contains a fascinating list of Questions and Answers about snow that are sure to be of interest to anyone experiencing winter weather.

Hard At Work When the Storm Hits

While most of us stay home from work or school during severe winter weather, National Weather Service meteorologists are hard at work. Twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year, NWS meteorologists staff local offices across the country to make sure the latest forecasts, watches and warnings get out to emergency managers, the media, and the public. What's it like at a forecast office? Don't wait for a major winter storm; contact your local office and ask to spend the day with them, and observe the exciting, day-to-day process of forecasting the snow before it hits.

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The Latest News Headlines

  • Robert Mugabe agreed Sunday to resign as Zimbabwe’s president, a source told Reuters.  Mugabe’s move comes hours after the ruling ZANU-PF party fired him as its leader following 37 years in charge, a source familiar with the negotiations said. >> Read more trending news ZANU-PF had given Mugabe, 93, less than 24 hours to quit as head of state or face impeachment, Reuters reported. The source said the Zimbabwe military was working on a resignation statement by Mugabe, without giving details. Earlier, Mugabe was replaced as party leader by Emmerson Mnangagwa, the deputy he fired this month,  Reuters reported.“He has been expelled,” one of the delegates said. “Mnangagwa is our new leader.” Mugabe’s wife, Grace, who had harbored ambitions of succeeding the 93-year-old leader, was also expelled from the party, Reuters reported. Mugabe is the only leader Zimbabwe has had since the southern African nation gained its independence from Great Britain in 1980, 
  • Its been another violent weekend in the river city as JSO is investigating multiple shootings.  The first reported shooting happened on the Southside. Police were called out to Belfort Rd. and Dickie Dr. around 1:45 Saturday afternoon, and JSO says when they arrived they could not find any victims. Police say they learned through witnesses that two victims left the scene. After another call came in for police and they went to St. Vincent’s Hospital South and found a woman and man with injuries. JSO says the woman drove the man to the hospital after the incident near Belfort Rd. Police say witnesses saw several men in their mid-20’s beating up the male victim in a neighbor’s front yard. After the beating, police say the suspects left and the male victim got into a car with the female victim. Police say that’s when another car drive up and shot multiple times into the victim’s car before driving away north on Belfort Rd.  Police say the man had life-threatening injuries and the woman had non-life-threatening injuries.    Then later Saturday JSO was called out around 9pm to Columbus Ave, on the Northside, after getting reports that 2 people there were shot. Police say when they got to the scene they found a 26-year-old white woman dead in the road and a 29-year-old white man with life-threating injuries.  JSO says at this point they don’t know exactly what happened that led to the shooting and they don’t have any information on any suspect or suspects. Police say they are looking through the area for evidence.  Early Sunday morning JSO were then called out to Melanie Ave, on the Northside, after getting a call that 2 people were shot. Police say the incident happened around 12:45 in the morning. Police say when they got to the scene they found a white man dead on the porch. After they searched the home they found another victim, this one was a 16-year-old white female and police say she had life threatening injuries. Police say she was taken to the hospital.  Police say the victims, and a suspect they knew, were involved in an argument which escalated. JSO says the suspect, a black man, shot the victims then left the area. Police are interviewing witnesses, trying to identify the suspect.   At around 3:15 Sunday morning police were called out to an incident on I-95 northbound near the Union St. exit about a car crash with a man inside who was dead from a gunshot wound. The victim in this incident has been identified as 25-year-old Steven Shawn Grady. Police say he is from Castle Hayne, North Carolina. According to JSO there were 2 other people in the car, and those 2 are being questioned by police. Police say this shooting is not being investigated as a random act of violence by a stranger.  Police are asking if you have any information on the shootings to give them a call at 904-630-0500. 
  • Here’s what we know about the fatal shooting of a New Kensington, Pennsylvania, police officer: >> Visit WPXI.com for complete coverage >> Click here or scroll down for more >> Read more trending news
  • A Texas sheriff is getting angry feedback from free speech advocates after he wrote a Facebook post, which has since been deleted, threatening charges against a driver for a profane anti-Trump sticker on the window of her truck. Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy E. Nehls posted a photo on his Facebook page Wednesday that showed a white GMC Sierra with a window decal that reads, “(EXPLETIVE) TRUMP AND (EXPLETIVE) YOU FOR VOTING FOR HIM.” The photo shared by Nehls was censored to block a portion of the offending word. Similar images found online indicate that Nehls also blocked out a middle finger aimed at those reading the sticker.  In Nehls’ now-deleted post, which was saved and shared by the ACLU, the sheriff asked anyone who knows the owner of the truck to contact his office.  “I have received numerous calls regarding the offensive display on this truck, as it is often seen along FM 359,” Nehls wrote. “Our prosecutor has informed us she would accept disorderly conduct charges regarding it, but I feel we could come to an agreement regarding a modification to it.” The ACLU, in turn, asked the driver of the truck to contact the ACLU of Texas.  “No, Sheriff Troy E. Nehls, you can’t prosecute speech just because it contains words you don’t like,” the ACLU’s post read.  The Texas branch of the organization also spoke out, posting on Facebook details of the constitutional protections for profane and indecent speech. “Constitutional Law 101: You can’t ban speech just because it has (expletive) in it,” the post read. “Hey truck owner, feel free to contact the ACLU of Texas.” The driver of the truck, Karen Fonseca, did reach out to the Houston Chronicle. Fonseca, 46, said the truck is her husband’s, but she often drives it. She also said she used to work for Nehls in the county jail. Fonseca told the Chronicle that the sticker attracted plenty of attention even before the sheriff learned of it. People often honk their horns and take pictures. “It’s not to cause hate or animosity,” Fonseca told the newspaper. “It’s just our freedom of speech, and we’re exercising it.” >> Read more trending news She said police officers have pulled her over because of the sticker, but that they failed to come up with a reason to ticket her. She said she has no plan to contact her former boss about modifying the sticker.  Fort Bend District Attorney John Healey told the Chronicle that the sticker does not constitute a criminal offense, no matter what one of his own prosecutors may have told Nehls.  “I did not believe it was a prosecutable case based on the definition of disorderly conduct,” Healey said.  Both Healey and Nehls are Republicans, the Chronicle reported. Though Healey is not running for re-election, Nehls is considering a bid for Congress.  The sheriff said his concern was that the language on the sticker could cause a dangerous confrontation. “Many families have called that have seen that truck on our county roadways and are very offended by the language on the truck,” Nehls said. “I think they’re walking a fine line.”
  • The 45th American Music Awards ceremony is set for Sunday in Los Angeles, and if the past is any indication, you can expect a night with a few surprising moments.  Remember Garth Brooks declining the award, or the time Pat Boone dressed in leather? Yeah, it’s likely to be that kind of night. The show will be broadcast live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Here’s what you need to know about the show. What time: The show begins at 8 p.m. ET What channel: The AMAs will be broadcast live on ABC. Who is hosting: Tracee Ellis Ross, star of “black-ish,” is hosting. What about a pre-show: What would a music awards show be without a pre-show? AJ Gibson, Marc Malkin, Laura Marano and Oliver Trevena will host the official pre-show, “AMAs Red Carpet Live presented by Security Benefit.” The two-hour pre-show will stream live from the Microsoft Theater beginning at 6 p.m. ET. You can watch the show on Twitter. Find it here. live.twitter.com/amas or via @AMAs. You can also watch “E! Live from the Red Carpet” from 6-8 p.m. ET. on the E! Network. Who has the most nominations: Bruno Mars has the most nominations this year – eight. Who is nominated for Artist of the Year: The Chainsmokers, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran are up for the award. Who is up for Video of the Year: Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee ('Despacito'), Bruno Mars ('That's What I Like') and Ed Sheeran ('Shape of You') are the nominees. For a complete list of nominees, click here. Who is performing: Here is a list of those scheduled to perform: Alessia Cara Alesso BTS Christina Aguilera  Kelly Clarkson  Florida Georgia Line Niall Horan Selena Gomez Imagine Dragons Lady Gaga Nick Jonas Khalid Demi Lovato  Shawn Mendes P!nk Portugal. The Man Diana Ross Hailee Steinfeld watt Zedd Anything special: Diana Ross, mother of host Tracee Ellis Ross, is both performing and receiving a lifetime achievement award.

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