Be Prepared: New Winter Warning Introduced

Brandon Weathers
Updated: November 04, 2019 06:22 PM

Both Minnesota and Wisconsin are using the week of November 4th to encourage people to get prepared for winter hazards before they arrive.


This means having an emergency kit in your car complete with jumper cables, a shovel, something like cat litter for traction, and a cell phone charger. An emergency blanket and spare hat and gloves should also be on hand.

"Every year we hope to get folks out there in the community preparing for winter disasters so we hope that folks will be able to prepare an emergency supply kit for their vehicles," Douglas County emergency management director Dave Sletten said. People can register for the chance to win a free emergency kit at the Douglas County Courthouse.

There's a new warning that may be issued this winter to alert drivers when the weather quickly changes from clear to white-out conditions. The National Weather Service is introducing a Snow Squall Warning to indicate a short-lived intense burst of snow with strong wind gusts and drastically reduced visibility.

The main difference between the Snow Squall Warning and other alerts you may be familiar with such as a Winter Weather Advisory, Winter Storm Warning, or Blizzard Warning is how long the alert is in effect. The Snow Squall Warning will indicate a small area for a short amount of time, similar to the way Severe Thunderstorm Warnings are used in the summer.

The National Weather Service introduced the Snow Squall Warning in the Northeastern United States in 2018 where intense short-lived snow events are a common cause of major car accidents.

"Usually when the road is very cold it's going to cause roads to go from clear to very icy," Duluth National Weather Service Meteorologist Joe Moore said, "And in those conditions, we tend to see accidents and also pile-ups on the roads."

If a Snow Squall Warning is issued in your area when you're on the road, you should pull over and wait for the squall to pass. Moore said these events are relatively ware and he only anticipates a handful of Snow Squall Warnings in the coming winter.


Brandon Weathers

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