December 21st may be the shortest day of the year, but that just means that colder weather is on its way. Because of the tilt of the Earth’s axis in the winter months, the Northern Hemisphere is not subjected to as much direct sunlight. The atmosphere is not able to trap as much heat during the shorter days. Heat from the Earth’s surface is lost without the heat from the atmosphere to keep the ground warm, thus making the months following the winter solstice the coldest of the year in most locations.
Just because all of Blackmon Mooring’s locations are in the southern half of the United States, it does not mean that these markets do not experience winter weather events. In fact, because of many factors ranging from the location of pipes within a structure to the lack of consistent cold temperatures, homes and other buildings are more susceptible to damage as a result of freezing weather. We are simply not as accustomed or prepared as people and structures are in the northern states.
Over the next few weeks, we will be exploring facts about cold weather and what you can do to protect your home of business from the effects of a freeze.
Winter Weather Vocabulary
Winter Weather Advisory – issued by the National Weather Service when forecasters expect winter conditions to present an inconvenience to a certain level depending on geographic area.
Winter Storm Watch – issued by the National Weather Service when there is a possibility of snow, sleet or freezing rain in your area.
Winter Storm Warning – issued by the National Weather Service when hazardous snow, sleet or freezing rain is impending or occurring in your area.
Blizzard Warning – issued by the National Weather Service when large amounts of snow fall with winds sustained or gusting at a minimum of 35 mile per hour for more than 3 hours.
Wind Chill Advisory – issued by the National Weather Service when wind chill temperatures pose a possible risk to life if subjected to prolonged exposure.
Wind Chill Warning – issued by the National Weather Service when wind chill temperatures pose a significant risk to life is subjected to more than a few minutes of exposure.
Freezing Rain – when rain hits the ground and then freezes causing ice to form on surfaces of trees, roads and power lines.
Sleet – when rain freezes into ice pellets before reaching the round. Typically will not stick to surfaces, but accumulation can pose hazards.
Snow Flurries – light snow for small durations with no to little accumulation expected.
Snow Showers – snow that falls for brief amounts of time at varying intensities with some possible accumulation.
Next week…The Pre-Squall Discussion
Ready.gov. 2012. FEMA. Retrieved January 5, 2012. www.ready.gov
NOAA. 2012. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. Retrieved January 9, 2012. www.noaa.gov