Winter Weather Awareness

Winter can bring a variety of weather conditions, including heavy snow, ice, and cold temperatures. These conditions can make driving conditions hazardous and cause power outages. If you are unprepared, you could be in a life-threatening situation. To help citizens prepare for upcoming winter season, a special time has been set aside to review safety rules and to help you understand the hazards of winter.

First, let's look at some definitions. A weather event is defined as a Winter Storm when any of the following conditions occur:

  • Heavy Snow - An average of 4 or more inches of snow accumulation in 12 hours or less; or 4 to 6o or more inches of snow accumulation in 24 hours or less.

  • Ice Storm - Significant, hazardous, damaging, or possibly dangerous accumulations of freezing rain or freezing drizzle.

  • Blizzard Conditions - Sustained wind speeds or frequent gusts of 35 MPH or higher and considerable falling/blowing snow causing visibilities to frequently fall to less than 1/4 mile for 3 hours or more.

There are a few different watches, warnings, and advisories that meteorologists from the National Weather Service office in Shreveport will issue depending on which type of winter weather threat is expected.

  • Winter Weather Advisory - Issued when a significant winter weather event is expected within the next 24 hours, but there is not expected to be a serious threat the life and property to warrant a Winter Storm Warning. Typically, this is when snow accumulations of 1 to 3 inches or freezing rain accumulations of less than 0.25 inches are expected to occur. However, if the impact to the public is expected to be higher, such as the storm arriving during a busy travel time, an advisory may be upgraded to one of the warnings products below, such as a Winter Storm Warning.

  • Winter Storm Warning - Issued when Winter Storm conditions (i.e., heavy snow and/or sleet accumulations of at least 0.50 inches) are expected within the next 24 hours.

  • Blizzard Warning - Issued when Blizzard Conditions are expected within the next 24 hours.

  • Ice Storm Warning - Issued when significant hazardous, damaging, or possibly dangerous accumulations of freezing rain/drizzle ix expected within the next 24 hours. Typically, freezing rain accumulations are expected to be at least 0.25 inches during an Ice Storm Warning.

  • Winter Storm Watch/Blizzard Watch - Issued when there is a 50 percent or greater chance of winter storm or blizzard conditions within the next 12 to 48 hours.

The National Weather Service in Shreveport also issues a few different advisories and warnings based on expected cold temperatures.

  • Freeze Warning - Issued for the first freeze during the fall/winter. Occasionally issued during the early spring, especially after a long period of unusually warm weather after the growing season has started.

  • Hard Freeze Warning - This criteria varies.
    • For Southeast Oklahoma, Southwest Arkansas, and 7 Northeast Texas counties (Red River, Bowie, Franklin, Titus, Morris, Camp, and Cass): a forecast low temperature in the mid teens or lower.

    • For Louisiana and the remaining Texas Counties: a forecast low temperature of 19 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
Wind Chill Chart


  • Wind Chill Advisory - Issued when the wind chill is expected to be between -14 degrees and +9 degrees Fahrenheith with a sustained wind speed of at least 10 MPH for 2 hours or more.

  • Wind Chill Warning - Issued when the wind chill is expected to be -15 degrees Fahrenheit or lower with a sustained wind speed of 10 MPH for any length of time. is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.