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Ice at the Capitol in Tallahassee January 28, 2014. Images courtesy of Alex Lamers.  ‚Äč

Georgia Winter Weather Awareness Week

December 2-8, 2018

 

The National Weather Service in partnership with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) will observe Georgia Winter Weather Awareness Week during the week of December 2-8, 2018 to highlight winter weather hazards. While ice and snow are rare across our portions of the United States, winter weather can have significant impacts in our area. 

 

Precipitation Types

The graphics below show how different types of winter precipitation form and what they look like. We always appreciate your reports of winter weather!

   

 

Winter Weather Products

Below is a graphic of the winter weather products and criteria for all our counties in Southeast Alabama, Southwest Georgia and the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend served by NWS Tallahassee. 

    

 

Extreme Cold and Health Hazards

Although our region doesn't often get the same level of extreme cold as areas to our north, our lakes and the northeastern Gulf of Mexico can get cold enough in the winter to pose danger to swimmers and surfers. Hypothermia is a serious health hazard that occurs when your body temperature sinks below 96ºF, and can happen in water temperatures up to 60°F. To reduce your risk of hypothermia, cover exposed skin during conditions, especially when doing activities in the water. Wind chill values can fall below zero at times in our area, which can result in frostbite on exposed skin in an hour. 

 

       

 

Safety and Preparedness

While we don't often have winter precipitation events, when we do the impacts can be significant. Similar to hurricane season, make sure you have a safety kit ready, both at home and in your car. Some things to include in your kit: non-perishable food and can opener, bottled water, first aid kit, prescription medicine, hygiene items, NOAA Weather Radio, spare batteries, flashlight, extra clothes and blankets. Additional items to keep in your car: flares, ice scraper, tow rope, cell phone charger and jumper cables. Below are additional driving safety tips. 

       

 

Don't forget about your pets! Outdoor pets can be very vulnerable to the cold, check out more information below. 

 

        

 

Past Events

Here are some winter weather events from our service area:

Winter Storm January 3, 2018Early in the morning of January 3rd, portions of north Florida and south Georgia had a mix of wintry precipitation. The precipitation was primarily freezing rain around Cross City, Madison, and Mayo, Florida. In the areas around Tallahassee, Florida, and Valdosta, Georgia, the precipitation was initially freezing rain and sleet, but changed to snow. The heaviest accumulations of snow were in south Georgia were amounts ranged from 0.50 to 2 inches. Snow accumulations in north Florida were mostly less than half an inch, with only 0.1 inches measured officially in Tallahassee

Snow Event of January 17, 2018: Snow and sleet fell across the tri-state area on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 with some areas in southeast Alabama receiving around an inch of snow and sleet. This was the second winter weather event for the tri-state area in a period of 2 weeks. Bitter cold set in across the entire region thereafter, subjecting people to dangerous wind chills and a hard freeze on the night of the 17th

Ice Storm of January 2014: A very rare ice storm occurred across much of the forecast area with ice being reported all the way to the Gulf Coast! The event resulted in the closing of area schools as well as many bridges and overpasses and even a long stretch of Interstate 10. 

Ice Storm of January 2011: A rare ice storm occurred across the northern portions of the NWS Tallahassee forecast area. The ice mainly accumulated on trees, power lines and cars. Isolated reports of icy roads were also received, mainly bridges and overpasses. A few locations saw sufficient ice accumulation to bring down power lines. 

Heavy Snow in February 2010: A rare accumulating snow occurred across the northern half of the Tallahassee County Warning Area. Some areas saw heavy snow accumulations in excess of 4 inches. Accumulating snow occurred as far south as the Florida Panhandle and the southern tier of counties in south Georgia. After this storm pulled away, 49 of the 50 states has snow on the ground at the same time, Hawaii being the only exception. 

 

Additional Information

NWS Winter Weather Webpage

Alabama Road Conditions

Florida Road Conditions and Webcams (access webcams by clicking the Map Legend)

Georgia Road Conditions and Webcams

NWS WPC Winter Weather Outlooks and Forecasts

NOAA Snow and Ice Products

#WinterSafety Weather Ready Nation Campaign

Wind Chill Calculator

Additional NWS Winter Weather Awareness Pages for the state of Georgia:

NWS Atlanta