Winter will be here before we know it. Some states, like Nevada, have already felt the early onset of winter. I recommend reading this infographic by Jon Erdman on The Weather Channel’s website describing what a blizzard really is. There are a lot of facts on there that not even I, the weather enthusiast, knew about.
One example is that everyone has heard about “tornado alley”, but I had no idea there was a “blizzard alley”. The infographic states “A 2002 study by Dr. Robert Schwartz and Dr. Thomas Schmidlin compiled the number of blizzards from 1959-2000 over the U.S., finding a clear “blizzard alley” in the Dakotas and western Minnesota, extending into Iowa, Nebraska, southeast Wyoming and eastern Colorado.”
If you live in an area where snow is frequent, I definitely suggest reading the infographic and be aware of the snowy conditions around you when they come. It provides a lot of good information that every person living in a colder state should know. There are some major differences between a normal snow storm and a blizzard, and winter is coming up quickly, so be prepared by knowing the facts.
The bright side of winter being on its way… Thanksgiving (even though this is still technically the fall season), Christmas, and 2016 will be here SO soon!
I went to Upstate New York this weekend for a quick home visit. I was amazed at how much snow there was! I know they have had a rough winter (not as bad as New England), but I had no idea until I saw it myself. You can see what I’m talking about in the picture below – this is downtown Syracuse right after the SU men’s basketball loss to Duke (so depressing).
The temperatures were insane! It felt like I was in Alaska. It was -13 degrees (it “felt like” -31) when my mom dropped me off at the Syracuse airport this morning.
Now that I’m back in North Carolina, I can only hope for some snowy and icy weather from Winter Storm Octavia…
This winter has been pretty intense for most of the USA this year. The south eastern parts of the country have seen very cold temperatures and a couple of snow storms, which is not a normal winter for southerners. Living in North Carolina for a over a year has been quite interesting. I’m from Rome, NY, so when southerners get nervous about winter weather, I usually think it’s nothing to worry about… until Winter Storm Pax arrived. I can honestly say that Winter Storm Pax was a dangerous storm and even people from up North would say the same! From getting an inch of snow an hour to almost two inches of solid ice on the roads, this storm was epic to say the least.
It was definitely an epic storm for Jim Cantore. I tweeted him a picture of the icy roads here in Fayetteville, NC and he replied! This obviously made my day. I was so excited!
Jim Cantore replied to my tweet!
If you read my previous post about Winter Storm Leon occurring on the day before and day of Sable’s birthday, you will also want to know that Winter Storm Pax came around the time Sable had passed away. I think this is her way of saying everything will be okay! Also as I said before, I never get lucky to experience bad weather, and she is allowing me to do so!
Since I had two snow days in a row due to the weather, I had some time to capture some photos of the storm. Take a look below! You will also see my dogs, Toby and Scrappy, playing in the snow – Toby loves it as he is part husky, but Scrappy isn’t a fan of the cold!
Snow falling in my apartment complex.
Approximately two inches of solid ice on the road. I couldn’t even break through it!
Last week, Winter Storm Leon brought The Weather Channel to Fayetteville, NC! Since North Carolina isn’t used to the snow, many of the local businesses and schools were closed almost the whole week. Lucky for me, my business was closed, which gave me the opportunity to go downtown and watch Mike Seidel report the weather live! It was such a fun day and I feel so happy that I got to talk to Seidel and take a photo with him.
Another important fact about this day, January 29th, was that it was Sable’s birthday. Sable is my dog who passed away last February due to a long-term illness. The day she passed, North Carolina got snow… and it stuck! We had a few flurries here and there after that, but nothing too wild. Then, the week of Sable’s birthday, I saw on The Weather Channel that Winter Storm Leon was coming. I knew this was a sign that Sable was letting me know she is doing okay.
Everyone who knows me knows that I do not have good luck when it comes to storms. Most people would say I am lucky to never see a major storm, but I think differently. I would love to be around more storms! I have missed earthquakes, dust storms, hail storms, hurricanes, etc. I legitimately get upset when I miss out on all the weather action. So when I heard we were getting snow down here in NC, I knew this was Sable bringing the storm for me. Not only did she bring me the storm, but she gave me the opportunity to see Mike Seidel. What a great day! And a special thank you to my best friend, Sable – love and miss you always.
Sable was the happiest, craziest and best dog I’ve ever had. <3
In my previous posts, I have talked a little about weather safety tips but not enough. It is surprising to me when I talk to people and they do not know or understand the safety precautions to take when severe weather hits their local area. Extreme weather can happen anywhere at any given moment, and it is important to be prepared. This post will give you some safety tips for the most common severe weather trends.
First off, it is important to know the difference between a watch and a warning. A watch means it is possible for the event to happen in your area. A warning means this event IT IS going to hit your area. For example, a severe thunderstorm watch means there is a possibly a storm may occur; but if the warning comes out then you will definitely be seeing this storm.
Severe Thunderstorm. If a severe thunderstorm is in your area…
Stay inside, preferably a room with little to no windows. It is important to stay away from windows because lightning can strike and go through the glass. Also, if there are high wind gusts a window can break and hurt you.
Try not to travel. With possible high wind gusts, hail and flooding, you can get injured.
If you are stuck outside, try to find shelter. STAY AWAY FROM TREES. Trees are known for being struck by lightning and falling over. Try to find a building or tunnel.
Always have a few flashlights with functioning batteries in your home incase an unexpected storm comes and the power goes out. Try to have candles and matches as well just incase something goes wrong with the flashlights. If the power does go out, do not open the refrigerator unless necessary. By opening the fridge, you are allowing the cold air to get out and your food will go bad.
Do not use the phone, take a shower, or anything else that uses gas or electricity.
Tornado. If a tornado is in your area…
Follow the same exact instructions as above.
Seek shelter IMMEDIATELY.
Go to your basement or storm cellar. If you do not have one, get to the lowest elevation possible.
If you are stuck outside, try to find a ditch. A tornado will most likely go right over it and not hurt you. But it is obviously better to be inside.
If you live in an area where tornadoes are constant (i.e. My sister lives in Tennessee and they have almost nonstop tornadoes in the summer), be prepared ahead of time. Get extra food and water to keep you and your family healthy incase you go a long time without power.
Listen to radio news updates.
Below is a YouTube video I found from the deadly Joplin, Missouri tornado (May 2011).
Tropical Storm and/or Hurricane.If either of these are in your area…
Secure your home. Try to board windows and doors before the storm comes.
If you have a boat or floatation device, try to prepare that before the storm comes. This can help you get around incase it is necessary for you to leave your home.
Shut your electricity and gas off in your home.
If possible do your best to evacuate before the storm, otherwise you may never leave.
Listen to radio news updates.
Extreme, Excessive Heat.If you are stuck in high temperatures…
STAY HYDRATED. This is the most important. Heat can do a lot of damage to your body. If you are hydrated you can save yourself some health problems.
Avoid eating hot foods, such as soup. This will increase your body temperature.
Stay inside on the lowest floor. Heat rises, so the higher in the building or house you are, the warmer it will be.
If you have to be outside, wear thin clothing and less layers. A good example would be a thin tank top and thin gym shorts. Also, do not wear dark clothing. Dark colors attract the sun more and will bring more heat to your body.
Severe Winter Conditions/Blizzard. If you severe winter conditions are in your area…
Stay inside and keep warm. If you know a storm is coming, try to get as much food and water as you can before it hits. Many winter storms can produce several feet of snow, which can trap you in your home.
Eat warm foods, such as soup – or drink some hot chocolate.
If you are stuck outside, cover your mouth and keep dry. Being wet will make you more cold, making you more prone to hypothermia. Be sure to look for signs of frostbite and hypothermia constantly. If you are with someone you can stay warm by putting your body skin on each other.
A photo from the 2006 "October Surprise" snow storm in Buffalo, NY.
To read safety procedures for floods and earthquakes, check out my previous blog posts. For more tips on each of the above weather trends log on to the FEMA: Disasters & Maps website. Here you can read about all the types of disasters and learn what to do before, during and after they occur.