A winter storm is a weather event where precipitation falls as snow or sleet. There is also "freezing rain" in can cause an ice storm, in which rain will freeze in contact with the ground, and on surfaces such as power lines and trees.
Though these storms are common, their arrival must be given due attention for preparations in the event of disaster. Any one of these storms may create a situation in which your survival depends on your ability to get you through a winter related ordeal.
Dangers of Winter Storms:
Usually, a snowfall of two inches can be dangerous to anyone travelling in an automobile because driving is made difficult by build-up, causing roads to become slick.
A large, intense snowstorm with high winds is known as a blizzard. This is a dangerous storm because the heavy snowfall can make quickly render any unplowed road unusable. Cars, trucks, and busses may become trapped in drifts caused by blowing snow in high winds.
A snowfall of twelve or more inches is heavy enough to cave in the roofs of homes and business, especially if precipitation is especially wet, while snowstorms in mountainous areas may create what's needed for a potential avalanche.
Meteorologists may forecast a "wintry mix" for regions whose temperatures may vary between 28 °F and 36 degrees Fahrenheit during a winter storm event. The result is usually an ice storm.
Normally, an ice storm results when layer of warm air hovers over a landmass. The air temperature is close to 32 °F, and the ground temperature is at or below freezing. Precipitation falls as rain, which coats up as ice on limbs of trees. The weight causes these branches to snap off and bring down power lines, causing power outages that may last indefinitely.
Deaths caused by winter storms:
- Frostbite related infection
- automobile accidents
- heart attacks caused by exertion during snow shoveling