Hazards

Ice/Winter Storms

Know the Terms!

WINTER STORM WATCH

Means severe winter weather conditions may affect the area. This includes heavy snow of more than two inches, accumulations of freezing rain or freezing drizzle, heavy sleet, or any combination of these events. A watch is usually issued first and gives a longer notice of the potential for winter weather.

WINTER STORM WARNING

Means a winter storm has formed and is approaching the area. Immediate action should be taken to protect life an property. People in the Bossier warning area should listen for the latest information over radio and television or the National Weather Service’s own continuous VHF-FM broadcasts on NOAA Weather Radio, and begin to prepare for the winter weather.

HEAVY SNOW WARNING

Means snowfall of at least 2-4 inches or more is expected. (Under certain conditions, heavy snow may be included in Winter Storm Warnings.)

BLIZZARD WARNING

Refers to a considerable amount of falling an/or blowing snow and winds of at least 35 miles per hour expected for several hours.

HIGH WIND WARNING

Refers to the expectation of sustained winds of at least 35 miles per hour or greater.

WIND CHILL WARNING

Used with wind chills that are below zero in Louisiana.

Winter Precipitation

SNOW:  Flurries – Light snow falling for short duration. No accumulation or light dusting is all that is expected. Showers – Snow falling at varying intensities for brief periods of time. Some accumulation is possible.

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.

ICE STORMS: Heavy accumulations of ice can bring down trees, electrical wires, telephone poles and lines, and communication towers.

EXTREME COLD: Extreme cold often accompanies a winter storm or is left in its wake. In the Bossier area, near freezing temperatures are considered “extreme cold.”

Winterize Your Home…

  1. Make sure your home is well insulated. Caulk and weather strip doors and windows to help keep the heat in and the cold out. Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic.
  2. Have some type of emergency heating equipment available so you can keep at least one room warm if your furnace is not operating.
  3. Stock an emergency supply of food, now! Grocery store supplies will swindle fast if roads are closed to supply trucks. Include foods that require no cooking or refrigeration or have emergency cooking facilities in case of power failure. Also, don’t forget to stock a flashlight, a fire extinguisher, a battery powered radio, and extra batteries.
  4. Keep water pipes from freezing. Wrap the pipes in insulation of tie layers of old newspapers around the pipes. Cover the newspaper with plastic to keep out moisture. Let faucets drip a little. Know how to shut off the water coming into the house. As a last resort you may have to shut off this main valve and drain all the pipes to keep them from freezing and bursting.

Protect Yourself!

  • Prepare! Automobiles, battery-powered equipment, heating fuel, food, and other supplies.
  • Dress Warmly! Wear multiple layers of protective clothing, scarves, mittens, and hoods. Cover the mouth to protect lungs from extremely cold air.
  • Avoid Travel! But if stranded, stay in your vehicle, keep it ventilated, bundle up, stand watches, occasionally change position, and don’t panic!
  • Avoid Overexertion! Heart attacks are a major cause of death during and after winter storms. Shoveling snow or freeing stuck vehicles can be extremely hard work. Don’t overdo it!