Winter Weather Facts, Definitions, and Safety

Watch and Warning Criteria

Winter Definitions

Winter Safety

When caught outside in a winter storm:

Find shelter:

- try to stay dry
- cover all exposed parts of the body

If you can't find shelter:

- prepare a lean-to, wind break, or snow cave for protection from the wind
- build a fire for heat and to attract attention
- place rocks around the fire to absorb and reflect heat.

Do not eat snow: it will lower your body temperature. Melt it first.

When caught in a winter storm in a car or truck:

Stay in your car or truck. Disorientation occurs quickly in wind-driven snow and cold. Run the motor about ten minutes each hour for heat:

- open the window a little for fresh air to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning
- make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked

Make yourself visible to rescuers:

- turn on the dome light at night when running engine.
- tie a colored cloth (preferably red) to your antenna or door.
- raise the hood indicating trouble after snow stops falling.

Exerciese from time to time by vigorously moving arms, legs, fingers, and toes to keep blood circulating and to keep warm.

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