Winter Weather Awareness
While not known for winter weather, West Central Texas does experience occasional impacts from hazardous winter precipitation events. These weather events can range from a light glaze of freezing rain, to heavy snowfall, to blizzard conditions. These events are relatively rare given the usual warmer climate but knowing how to prepare for winter weather in advance can save you from a potentially big headache! Before deciding how to prepare for an event, it's important to understand the different types of winter weather warnings and advisories issued by the National Weather Service. Some of the most likely warnings and advisories will be listed below.
|Watches - Hazardous conditions are possible. Maintain vigilance.|
|Blizzard Watch||Conditions are favorable for blizzard conditions to be met in the next 12 to 48 hours.|
|Winter Storm Watch||Conditions are favorable for local winter storm criteria to be met within the next 12 to 48 hours.|
|Wind Chill Watch||Conditions are favorable for dangerous wind chill readings to occurr during the next 12 to 48 hours.|
|Warnings - These situations are potentially life-threatening|
|Blizzard Warning||Bilzzard conditions are likely. This means falling or blowing snow reducing visbilities to 1/4 mile or less and wind speeds of 35 mph for greater for at least 3 hours.|
|Winter Storm Warning||Winter weather is expected to meet or exceed local criteria. This includes heavy snow of 4 inches over a 12 hour period (6 inches in 24 hours) or 1/2 inch of sleet accumulation. This may also include a combination of heavy snow, sleet and/or freezing rain.|
|Ice Storm Warning||Freezing rain or drizzle is likely to result in ice accumulations of 1/2 inch or greater.|
|Wind Chill Warning||Wind chill temperatures are expected to be less than or equal to -18 degrees Fahrenheit.|
|Advisories - If caction is exercised, these events should not threaten lives|
|Winter Weather Advisory||Snow or sleet accumulations (or a combination of snow, ice and sleet) that are below warning criteria but may cause inconveniences in routine activies.|
|Freezing Rain||Light accumulations of less than 1/4 inch of ice are expected from freezing rain or drizzle.|
|Wind Chill Advisory||Wind chill temperatures are expected to be less than or equal to 0 degrees Fahrenheit.|
Most winter storm fatalities are indirectly related to the storm.
Everyone is potentially at risk during winter storms. The actual threat to you depends on your specific situation. Recent observations indicate the following:
Preparing for Winter Weather
In your vehicle:
Plan your travel and check the latest weather reports to avoid the storm!
On the ranch: