PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HOUSTON/GALVESTON TX
1034 AM CST TUE NOV 10 2009

...TODAY IS WINTER WEATHER AWARENESS DAY IN TEXAS...

EVEN IN SOUTHEAST TEXAS...WE ARE NOT EXEMPT FROM WINTER. SOUTHEAST
TEXAS IS WELL KNOWN FOR ITS WILD SWINGS IN TEMPERATURE...RARE SNOW
EVENTS...AND OF COURSE...HAZARDOUS ICE EVENTS.

THE FOLLOWING IS A LIST OF IMPORTANT DEFINITIONS WE ALL
SHOULD BE AWARE OF FOR THE UPCOMING 2009/2010 WINTER SEASON...

A WINTER STORM IS AN EVENT CAUSING A SIGNIFICANT ACCUMULATION
OF ICE OR SNOW. A SIGNIFICANT SNOW ACCUMULATION WOULD BE 4 INCHES
OR MORE IN 12 HOURS OR 6 INCHES OR MORE IN 24 HOURS. A QUARTER-
INCH OR MORE OF ICE OR SLEET WOULD BE CONSIDERED SIGNIFICANT.
THESE CAN PRODUCE DANGEROUS TRAVEL PROBLEMS AND MAY POSE A THREAT
TO LIFE AND PROPERTY. LOW WIND CHILL INDICES AND LOW VISIBILITIES
MAY ALSO ACCOMPANY WINTER STORMS.

WINTER STORM WATCHES ARE ISSUED BETWEEN 24 AND 48 HOURS IN
ADVANCE OF AN EXPECTED WINTER STORM. THE WATCH WILL DESCRIBE
THE KIND OF WINTER WEATHER EXPECTED...SNOW AND OR SLEET AND
OR ICE...AND THE EXPECTED ACCUMULATION. WHEN A WATCH IS
ISSUED...RESIDENTS SHOULD TAKE CAUTION...BEGIN TO PREPARE...
AND KEEP ABREAST OF THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS.

WINTER STORM WARNINGS ARE ISSUED WHEN A WINTER STORM IS
EXPECTED WITHIN 24 HOURS. AT THIS TIME...PREPARATIONS TO
PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY SHOULD BE COMPLETED. SEVERE WINTER
STORMS BRING PROLONGED POWER OUTAGES AND VERY DANGEROUS
DRIVING CONDITIONS.

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORIES ARE ISSUED WHEN LIGHT ACCUMULATIONS
OF SNOW...FREEZING RAIN...FREEZING DRIZZLE...OR SLEET ARE
EXPECTED TO OCCUR BUT CAUSE ONLY AN INCONVENIENCE TO
MOTORISTS AND RESIDENTS.

A WIND CHILL ADVISORY IS ISSUED WHEN WIND CHILL TEMPERATURES
ARE EXPECTED FALL TO ZERO OR BELOW. REMEMBER...WIND CHILL
IS WHAT THE ACTUAL AIR TEMPERATURE FEELS LIKE WITH THE WIND
FACTORED INTO IT. RESIDENTS SHOULD LIMIT OUTDOOR EXPOSURE AND
OR PROTECT EXPOSED SKIN DURING LOW WIND CHILL READINGS.

...HERE ARE DESCRIPTIONS OF WINTRY PRECIPITATION...

SNOW FLURRIES CAN BE DESCRIBED AS VERY LIGHT SNOW FALLING
FOR SHORT DURATION. FLURRIES WILL PRODUCE ONLY A LIGHT COATING
OF SNOW.

SNOW SHOWERS ARE SNOW FALLING AT VARYING INTENSITIES FOR
BRIEF PERIODS OF TIME. MOST SNOW SHOWERS PRODUCE LITTLE TO NO
ACCUMULATION....HOWEVER...HEAVIER SNOW SHOWERS FALLING OVER
A LONGER DURATION CAN PRODUCE ANYWHERE FROM A DUSTING TO
A COUPLE OF INCHES UNDER THE RIGHT CONDITIONS.

SLEET IS COMPOSED OF RAIN DROPS FALLING THROUGH A SHALLOW
LAYER OF FREEZING TEMPERATURES. WHEN THE LIQUID DROP
ENCOUNTERS FREEZING TEMPERATURES...IT TURNS INTO AN ICE PELLET.
SLEET DOES NOT STICK TO OBJECTS OR CAUSE A GLAZE...BUT IT CAN
STILL ACCUMULATE ON SIDEWALKS... BRIDGES...UNTREATED
ROADWAYS AND OVERPASSES...MAKING DRIVING HAZARDOUS.

FREEZING RAIN IS MADE UP OF RAIN DROPS FALLING INTO A VERY
SHALLOW LAYER OF COLD AIR AT THE GROUND. ONCE THE LIQUID
DROP ENCOUNTERS THE FREEZING SURFACE TEMPERATURE...IT
FREEZES ON CONTACT. FREEZING RAIN IS THE MOST DANGEROUS OF
WINTRY WEATHER...PRODUCING A GLAZE OF ICE ON ROADWAYS
KNOWN AS BLACK ICE. BLACK ICE IS VERY HARD TO DETECT AND CAN
LEAD TO AUTO ACCIDENTS AND SIDEWALK FALLS.  IT CAN ALSO MAKE
BRIDGES IMPASSIBLE.

WE AT THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WISH YOU A SAFE WINTER
SEASON.

$$

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