Scotland Severe Watches & Warnings NOAA Weather Radio

Public Information Statement
Statement as of 6:39 am EST on November 29, 2015

***winter weather preparedness week in north carolina***
***november 29 through December 5, 2015***

This week has been declared winter weather preparedness week in
North Carolina. All week long the National Weather Service will be
issuing informative messages to help you prepare for winter weather.

Outlook for this winter:

noaas official winter outlook features a higher chance of above
average amounts of precipitation for North Carolina, particularly
across the eastern half of the state. Noaas seasonal outlook does
not project where and when snow or ice storms may hit or provide
total seasonal snowfall accumulations. Snow and ice forecasts are
dependent upon the strength and track of winter storms, which are
generally not predictable more than a week in advance.

The winter season temperature forecast for North Carolina lacks a
strong enough climate signal to make a prediction, so there is an
equal chance for either above-, below-, or near-normal temperatures
this winter across the state.

Regardless of the prediction for this Winters weather, everyone
should use this week to prepare for the upcoming winter months and
the possibility of winter storms. Below are some definitions of
winter storm watches, warnings and advisories, and various winter
precipitation types.

Winter terms:

winter storm watches and warnings: watches and warnings are issued
by the NWS for potentially life-threatening conditions. In winter,
watches and warnings are issued for significant snow and/or ice
storms. Below are a list of winter weather watches, warnings, and

Winter storm watch: issued when the following weather conditions are
possible within 24 to 48 hours - at least 3 inches of snow and/or
ice accumulations of 1/4 inch or more, in a 12 to 24 hour period.

Winter storm warning: issued when at least 3 inches of snow or ice
accumulations of 1/4 inch or more are likely within 24 hours.

Winter weather advisory: issued when 1 to 3 inches of snow or ice
accumulations of less than 1/4 inch are likely within 24 hours.

Blizzard warning: issued when strong winds combine with falling
and/or blowing snow to reduce visibility to one quarter mile or less
for at least 3 hours. Deep snow drifts and dangerously low wind
chills often accompany blizzard conditions.

Wind chill warning: issued when wind chill temperatures (the
combined effect of wind and temperature on exposed skin) are
forecast to reach 15 degrees below zero or colder.

Precipitation types:

freezing rain is rain that falls and freezes to a cold surface such
as a Road or tree, causing a glaze of ice to form. Freezing rain
forms when rain falls through a warm layer above the ground then
freezes upon reaching the ground when the surface air and ground-
level objects are below freezing. Freezing rain or "ice storms" can
bring down trees and power lines, and severely hamper travel. The
ice storm in December of 2002 crippled central North Carolina
leaving some areas without power for a week.

Sleet is melted snow that has re-frozen into ice pellets prior to
reaching the ground. Sleet forms in a similar manner to freezing
rain. However, the layer of cold air near the ground is thick enough
to allow the rain drops to re-freeze before reaching the ground.
Sleet will bounce when it strikes a hard surface. Sleet can
accumulate like snow and make a Road slick, but it is not as
hazardous as freezing rain.

A blizzard occurs when winds 35 mph or greater combine with blowing
snow reducing visibility to less than one quarter mile causing white-
out conditions. People caught in blizzards can quickly become
disoriented from the cold, snow and wind, losing their way when only
several yards from their home or car.

The term flurries refer to very light snow or snow that occurs for a
short time period only causing a light dusting at best.

The wind chill temperature is the "feel-like" temperature denoting
the combined effect of wind and temperature on people and animals.
Wind chill is based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin.
Wearing layers of clothing will help retain your body heat and
combat wind chill. Once wind chill temperatures drop below -20
degrees fahrenheit, exposed flesh can freeze in 30 minutes or
less, causing frost bite.

Winter storms are deceptive killers because most deaths are
indirectly related to the storm. Examples are traffic accidents due
to icy roads, heart attacks while shoveling snow, fires, and Carbon
monoxide poisoning. The National Weather Service issues advisories,
watches, and warnings to help you prepare for upcoming winter
weather and take appropriate action to protect yourself and your

Additional information on winter weather preparedness can be
obtained on-line through the North Carolina department of emergency
management home Page. The url is:


up-to-date weather information is available on-line from the
following National Weather Service sites serving North Carolina (all
urls in lower case):

NWS Raleigh NC- http://weather.Gov/rah
NWS Wilmington NC - http://weather.Gov/ilm
NWS Newport/Morehead City NC - http://weather.Gov/mhx
NWS Wakefield VA - http://weather.Gov/akq
NWS Blacksburg VA - http://weather.Gov/rnk
NWS Greenville/Spartanburg SC - http://weather.Gov/gsp

National Weather Service winter weather preparedness home Page -

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