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816 969-1300
Fire >> Safety Information >> Weather Safety >> Winter Safety
Content Manager


Did you Know....

70 percent of injuries due to ice and snow result from vehicle accidents.
About 25 percent of injuries are to people caught out in a storm

Winter Weather Safety

Snow and Ice Removal National Weather Service | PrepareMetro - KC | Ready.gov | United States Fire Administration

A winter storm can last for few days and be accompanied by winds, freezing rain or sleet, snowfall and cold temperatures.

Every year, dozens of people in this country die due to exposure to the cold. Hypothermia and frostbite can also lead to damages of the fingers and toes, or cause damage to internal organs. Careful preparations can help you avoid these dangers.

National Weather Service Winter 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.



If you would like to know how to stay up-to-date on urgent community notifications with a FREE service offered by Nixle click here.

If you should need further information please contact the Lee's Summit Fire Department at (816)969-1300.