The outside temperature readout in my car began blinking – it’s dropping to 38°F and below…
WHY DOES IT BLINK?
According to Google this safety feature is to alert the driver (me) that the conditions outside my car are approaching conditions non-ideal to support human life.
Being prepared becomes second nature, so it seems ludicrous to me that the weather forecasts all come with a type of designation, like we cannot figure out for ourselves that 38° and below means freezing temperatures and thus why the season is called winter!
Having lived most of my life in “White Christmas” regions – there will always be snow for Christmas (and many months before and after!)
We learned as toddlers what to watch for and what the weather patterns would bring. Snowstorms can arrive during any month of the year, not just the winter, so it is vital to be prepared. Local citizens keep equipment in their vehicles to weather out getting stuck in a blizzard and then buried by a passing snowplow if they don’t get shoveled out in time.
Fashion sense is usually overlooked for warmth and practicality. Wearing flip-flop and shorts during the winter season can designate a rebelliously defiant local (best case because they know what winter means) or a tourist lacking any common sense (worst case because they have never experienced winter). All the White Christmas regions are spoken of by the locals as God’s Country, meaning it’s the best there is. Come to think about it, I didn’t hear that reference when living on the sunny beaches… hmmm!?!
According to the National Weather Service there are eight categories for weather. Winter/Cold Weather has the most options of all the categories, coming in at ten! (Fog/Wind/Severe came in with nine.) The options are designated as Advisory, Watch, and Warning. These designations sound ominous, so how do we know what is a weather report and which we should pay attention to?
Here’s how the NWS designations break down:
Advisory is a bit of snow that may accumulate a couple inches or less and present an inconvenience.
Watch is the potential for some snow within 48 hours.
Warning is either expected snow within 12 to 18 hours or it is snowing outside right now.