It’s Winter Weather Awareness Week

Published 12:18 pm Wednesday, December 6, 2023


Gov. Andy Beshear has signed a proclamation designating Dec. 2-9 as Winter Weather Awareness Week in Kentucky to emphasize the importance of education about the risks of winter weather.

“We have overcome unimaginable weather events together, and I want to ensure we are prepared for whatever comes our way, such as snowfall, ice storms, freezing rain, tornados and extreme cold,” said Gov. Beshear. “By taking action, we can work together to be more prepared and more informed to help all Kentuckians during the winter season.”

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He said the next week lets communities prepare and educate the public about winter weather risks.

“Some ways you can do that is by preparing your home for winter by insulating pipes, using space heaters safely, and making sure your carbon monoxide detector is working,” Beshear stated. “Also, make sure you have enough supplies in case you have to stay home for several days without power.”

He added, “We lose more people from having a generator too close to the home, or by carbon monoxide poisoning that gets in the home, than we do from the actual weather itself.”

Part of preparation includes knowing severe winter weather terms used by the National Weather Service offices in Kentucky. They include:

• Winter Storm Warning: Issued when hazardous winter weather in the form of heavy snow, heavy freezing rain or heavy sleet is imminent or occurring, and are usually issued 12 to 24 hours before it starts. It means snow totals of four or more inches, or a combination of significant snow, sleet, ice or freezing rain.

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

• Winter Weather Advisory: Issued for snow, freezing rain, freezing drizzle and sleet which will cause significant inconveniences and, if caution is not exercised, could lead to life-threatening situations. It means snow less than four inches, or a combination of significant snow, sleet, ice or freezing rain that doesn’t warrant a Winter Snow Warning.

• Wind Chill Warning: Issued when wind chills, the combination of temperature and wind, are expected to reach -25 °F or lower, and a wind speed at or above 10 mph. A Wind Chill Advisory is when wind chills are forecast to be -10 to -24, with 10+ mph wind.