Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Des Moines, IA

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PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DES MOINES IA
905 AM CST THU NOV 6 2014

...WINTER WEATHER AWARENESS DAY IN IOWA IS NOVEMBER 6 2014...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AND THE IOWA HOMELAND SECURITY AND
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT HAVE DECLARED NOVEMBER 6 2014 AS
WINTER WEATHER AWARENESS DAY IN IOWA.

EACH YEAR...WINTER RETURNS TO IOWA AND PRODUCES WINTER STORMS...
BLIZZARDS...ICE STORMS AND PERIODS OF EXTREMELY COLD TEMPERATURES
AS WELL AS DANGEROUS WIND CHILLS.

TO HELP PREPARE FOR THE UPCOMING WINTER SEASON...INFORMATIVE
WINTER SAFETY INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE ON THE NATIONAL WEATHER
SERVICE DES MOINES WEB SITE. VISIT WWW.WEATHER.GOV/DESMOINES AND
SEE THE TOP NEWS OF THE DAY SECTION NEAR THE TOP THE PAGE. THE
INFORMATION INCLUDES WINTER WEATHER SAFETY TIPS AS WELL AS LINKS
TO ADDITIONAL PREPAREDNESS AND AWARENESS RESOURCES.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT FAMILY SAFETY AND OTHER IMPORTANT
PREPAREDNESS TOPICS CAN BE FOUND ON THE BE READY IOWA WEB SITE AT
WWW.BEREADY.IOWA.GOV.

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER AND FACEBOOK FOR MORE WINTER WEATHER
INFORMATION. WE ARE ON TWITTER AT @NWSDESMOINES. FOR WINTER
WEATHER AWARENESS DAY WE WILL USE THE HASHTAG #IWWAD. WE ARE ON
FACEBOOK AT WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/NWSDESMOINES .


...WINTER THREATS...

WINTER POSES A WIDE RANGE OF THREATS TO IOWANS. WHETHER IT IS
EXPOSURE TO THE COLD...VEHICLE ACCIDENTS CAUSED BY SLICK ROADS OR
FIRES CAUSED BY THE IMPROPER USE OF HEATERS...HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE
ARE INJURED OR KILLED EACH YEAR AS A DIRECT RESULT OF WINTER
WEATHER.

WINTER STORMS RANGE FROM A MODERATE SNOW OVER A FEW HOURS TO A
MASSIVE BLIZZARD WITH BLINDING...WIND-DRIVEN SNOW THAT LASTS FOR
SEVERAL DAYS. SOME WINTER STORMS ARE LARGE ENOUGH TO AFFECT
SEVERAL STATES WHILE OTHERS AFFECT ONLY A SINGLE COMMUNITY.

HIGH WINDS...FREEZING RAIN OR SLEET...HEAVY SNOWFALL AND
DANGEROUSLY COLD TEMPERATURES ARE THE MAIN HAZARDS ASSOCIATED WITH
WINTER STORMS. IMPASSABLE SNOW DRIFTS OFTEN MAROON PEOPLE AT HOME
WITHOUT UTILITIES OR OTHER SERVICES FOR DAYS AFTER AN EVENT. HEAVY
SNOWFALL AND BLIZZARDS EASILY TRAP MOTORISTS IN THEIR VEHICLES AND
MAKE WALKING TO FIND HELP A DEADLY EFFORT. SEVERELY COLD
TEMPERATURES AND WIND CHILLS DURING AND AFTER A WINTER STORM CAN
LEAD TO HYPOTHERMIA AND KILL ANYONE CAUGHT OUTSIDE FOR TOO LONG.
THE AFTERMATH OF A WINTER STORM CAN IMPACT A COMMUNITY OR REGION
FOR DAYS...WEEKS OR EVEN MONTHS...INCURRING STEEP ECONOMIC COSTS.


...TERMS TO KNOW...

* BLIZZARD...BLOWING AND/OR FALLING SNOW WITH WINDS OF 35 MPH OR
GREATER...REDUCING VISIBILITIES TO 1/4 MILE OR LESS FOR AT LEAST
THREE HOURS. WINDS LOFTING THE CURRENT SNOW PACK AND REDUCING
VISIBILITIES WITHOUT ANY FALLING SNOW IS CALLED A GROUND BLIZZARD.

* FREEZING RAIN...CAUSED BY RAIN FALLING ON SURFACES WITH A
TEMPERATURE BELOW FREEZING. THE RAIN FREEZES UPON CONTACT WITH THE
GROUND. LARGE BUILD-UPS OF ICE CAN DOWN TREES AND POWER
LINES...AND CAN COAT ROADS.

* SLEET...RAIN OR MELTED SNOW THAT HAS BEGUN REFREEZING WHEN IT
REACHES THE GROUND. SLEET TENDS TO BE SOFTER THAN HAIL AND IS
EASILY COMPACTED. SLEET CAN MAKE ROADS SLIPPERY VERY QUICKLY.

* WIND CHILL...THE APPARENT TEMPERATURE THE BODY FEELS WHEN WIND
IS FACTORED INTO THE EQUATION.


EXTREME COLD AND WIND CHILL ARE ADDITIONAL SERIOUS HAZARDS IN THE
WINTER MONTHS. NEARLY EVERY YEAR...EPISODES OF EXTREMELY COLD AIR
ACCOMPANY WINTER STORMS OR ARE LEFT IN THEIR WAKE. WHEN AN ARCTIC
OUTBREAK IS ACCOMPANIED BY STRONG WINDS...BITTERLY COLD WIND
CHILLS CAN RESULT. PROLONGED EXPOSURE TO THE COLD CAN CAUSE
FROSTBITE OR HYPOTHERMIA AND CAN BECOME LIFE THREATENING. CHILDREN
AND THE ELDERLY ARE MOST SUSCEPTIBLE TO THE COLD.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE USES WIND CHILL TEMPERATURES TO
EXPRESS THE EFFECT OF WIND AND COLD TEMPERATURES. THE WIND CHILL
TEMPERATURE IS WHAT THE HUMAN BODY FEELS LIKE WHEN COMBINING THE
EFFECT OF BOTH THE WIND AND THE COLD. FOR CENTRAL IOWA...A WIND
CHILL ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED WHEN WIND CHILL TEMPERATURES ARE
FORECAST TO BE BETWEEN 20 AND 30 DEGREES BELOW ZERO. A WIND CHILL
WARNING WILL BE ISSUED WHEN WIND CHILL TEMPERATURES ARE FORECAST
TO BE LESS THAN 30 DEGREES BELOW ZERO.

THERE ARE TWO DANGERS DURING COLD SPELLS...FROSTBITE AND
HYPOTHERMIA.

* FROSTBITE IS DAMAGE TO BODY TISSUE CAUSED BY THAT TISSUE BEING
FROZEN. FROSTBITE CAUSES A LOSS OF FEELING AND A WHITE OR PALE
APPEARANCE IN EXTREMITIES SUCH AS FINGERS...TOES...EAR LOBES OR
THE TIP OF THE NOSE. IF SYMPTOMS ARE DETECTED...GET MEDICAL HELP
IMMEDIATELY. IF HELP IS NOT AVAILABLE THEN SLOWLY WARM AFFECTED
AREAS. IF SIGNS OF HYPOTHERMIA ARE PRESENT...HOWEVER...THEN WARM
THE BODY CORE BEFORE THE EXTREMITIES.

* HYPOTHERMIA IS HAVING A LOW BODY TEMPERATURE. WARNING SIGNS
INCLUDE UNCONTROLLABLE SHIVERING...MEMORY LOSS...
DISORIENTATION...INCOHERENCE...SLURRED SPEECH...DROWSINESS AND
APPARENT EXHAUSTION. IF HYPOTHERMIA IS SUSPECTED THEN IMMEDIATELY
SEEK MEDICAL CARE. IF MEDICAL CARE IS NOT AVAILABLE THEN BEGIN
WARMING THE BODY SLOWLY. WARM THE CORE FIRST. DO NOT WARM
EXTREMITIES FIRST. WARMING THE EXTREMITIES FIRST DRIVES THE COLD
BLOOD TOWARD THE HEART AND CAN LEAD TO HEART FAILURE. IF
NEEDED...USE YOUR OWN BODY HEAT TO HELP. GET THE PERSON INTO DRY
CLOTHING AND WRAP HIM/HER IN A WARM BLANKET...COVERING THE HEAD
AND NECK.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HOPES YOU STAY SAFE...PREPARED AND
WELL-INFORMED CONCERNING WINTER WEATHER FOR THIS COMING SEASON.
FEEL FREE TO CONTACT THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN DES MOINES
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.

$$

NWS DES MOINES



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