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Winter Weather Awareness

As this is winter weather awareness week we wanted to send some information for you to be prepared for what will eventually come to South Dakota. 

This autumn was marked by a prolonged drought that was interrupted by a few early snowfalls with some ice accumulation for many areas. Even with these events, now that we're into December, we want to take a moment to once again highlight winter safety and preparedness.

Blizzard Warning

Severe winter weather is expected within the next 12 to 36 hours or is occurring — including whiteout conditions. Do not Drive.

Take action.
 

Winter Storm Warning

Dangerous winter weather is expected within the next 12 to 36 hours or is occurring. Considerable travel problems are expected.

Take action.

Winter Weather Advisory

Potentially dangerous winter weather is expected within the next 12 to 36 hours or is occurring. Travel difficulties are expected.

Be aware.

Questions and answers about SNOW SQUALLS

www.weather.gov/safety

What are they?

Quick intense bursts of snow accompanied by strong gusty winds. Short-lived. Typically less than 3 hours. Normally occur during the day.

What are the impacts?

Rapidly reduced visibility. Treacherous travel conditions. Potential chain-reaction accidents.

What is a snow squall warning?

Warning is usually 30-60 minutes in length, issued for small areas where snow squalls are expected. Similar to Tornado or Severe Thunderstorm Warning.

How can you stay safe?

Have a way to get forecasts and warnings. Consider an alternate route or delaying travel. Stay alert for rapidly changing road conditions. Reduce speed and use low beam headlights.

Winter Travel

  • Road Trip Safety Tips
  • Share your travel plans with friends or family
  • Winterize your vehicle
  • Pack an emergency supply kit
  • Check road conditions
  • Get the weather forecast
  • Snow: Frozen precipitation that never melts during its descent to the surface
  • Sleet: Frozen precipitation falls through a warm layer and melts, then falls through another cold layer that is deep enough to refreeze the raindrops into pellets before hitting the ground.
  • Freezing Rain: Frozen precipitation falls through a warm layer and melts, then falls on surfaces that are below freezing and solidifies, resulting in an even coating of ice on streets, trees, cars, and power lines.
  • Rain: frozen precipitation that falls through a deep warm layer and melts into liquid before reaching the ground. Water droplets are classified as rain if they are 0.5 millimeters or greater in size, whereas droplets smaller than 0.5 millimeters are classified as drizzle.  

NWS has put together a video showing you what to include in your vehicle's winter survival kit.

  Additional winter preparedness information can be found at: