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Hazards of Winter Weather–What You Need to Know

So far in this 2023-2024 winter weather season, we have not seen much in a way of snow. Since December 1st up to February 15th, we’ve seen roughly around 4.72 inches of snow, which is about 1.43 inches below average at this time of year. The winter weather season is not over by any means, which means we need to continue to be vigilant on the hazards that comes with winter weather. The most common hazard associated with winter weather is wind chill. Wind chill is the apparent temperature caused by wind blowing on your skin. A chart, provided by the National Weather Service, is used to forecast bitter cold temperatures, which is called the Wind Chill Chart.

Given this chart, we can calculate how long it takes for a frostbite to occur from being exposed to bitter cold temperatures and the winds that are blowing. Frostbite is the freezing of the skin, and the time it takes for the skin to freeze depends on the combination actual air temperature and wind speed. If frostbite doesn’t get treated immediately, then something called hypothermia occurs, which is low body temperature below 95 degrees Fahrenheit or 35 degrees Celsius.

When it comes to driving in winter weather, especially during high impact storms, make sure to leave for work or school early to give yourself time to drive to your destination safely and accident free. The three most common mistakes when it comes to driving in winter storms is overpowering the wheel, over breaking, and oversteering. To prevent all types of mistakes, make sure your car gear is set to the 2nd gear. When you are approaching a stop light or sign, anticipate those stops more than you would normally do on a non-impactful weather day. And finally, if you happen to get into a situation where you are going to oversteer, steer into a skid and don’t out steer than what you need to. Check your oil levels and tires from time to time as well.

Knowing that winter weather season isn’t over just yet, you can stay ahead of the hazards should a winter storm system is forecasted to impact Muncie or your hometown by checking out the National Weather Service’s website for information about the winter storm system. Being prepared will get you through ALL winter weather storms for the remainder of the winter season,

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