As the leaves begin to change color and the days grow shorter, many people in Pennsylvania start to think about the approaching winter. And with good reason: according to NOAA and the Farmers Almanac Winter Outlook, this year’s winter is shaping up to be a cold and wet one. While some people relish the thought of snow days and hot cocoa by the fireplace, others dread the prospect of dealing with icy sidewalks and frozen pipes. No matter which camp you fall into, there’s no denying that winter can be a challenging time of year. That’s why it’s always a good idea to be prepared.
By taking some simple steps now, you can help ensure that your family stays safe and comfortable all winter long. So don’t wait until the first snowflake falls – start preparing for winter today! Here are some tips to help get you started.
Preparing Your Home for Winter in Pennsylvania
As the colder, wet conditions of winter settle in across Pennsylvania, it’s important to take some time to prepare your home. By following these five tips, you can help ensure that your home is comfortable and cozy all season long.
1. Check your windows and doors for drafts. One of the easiest ways to keep your home warm this winter is to make sure that there are no drafts coming in from any windows or doors. A simple way to check for drafts is to hold a lit candle up to each door and window in your home; if the flame flickers, you know you’ve got a draft. Once you’ve identified any drafty spots, seal them up with weather stripping or caulking.
2. Bring outdoor furniture inside. If you have any outdoor furniture or decorations that you don’t want to get ruined by the winter weather, be sure to bring them inside before the snow and ice start flying. This will not only help protect your belongings, but it will also save you time and hassle when spring comes around and you’re ready to start using them again.
3. Inspect your roof and gutters. Another way to keep your home warm this winter is to make sure that your roof and gutters are in good condition. Inspect your roof for any loose or missing shingles, and be sure to clear out any leaves or other debris from your gutters so that they can do their job of directing water away from your home’s foundation.
4. Service your furnace. Before the really cold weather hits, it’s a good idea to have a professional service your furnace (or boilers, if you have them). This will help ensure that they’re running properly and efficiently, which will save you money on your energy bills and keep your home nice and warm all winter long.
5. Stock up on supplies. Finally, be sure to stock up on essential supplies like wood for the fireplace or wood-burning stove (if you have one), salt for the sidewalk and driveway, and food and water for the pets so that you’re prepared for anything that winter throws your way.
By following these five tips, you can help ensure that your home is ready for anything that winter brings—and that you’ll be able to sit back, relax, and enjoy the season without any worries!
Understanding Your Winter Storm Terms
In Pennsylvania, we experience a variety of winter weather conditions each year. Some seasons are worse than others, but it’s always important to be prepared. To help you understand what the weatherman is saying on television and radio, here is a list of some common winter storm terms.
Winter Storm Warning: Essentially, a “Winter Storm Warning” means that severe winter weather is expected and people should take immediate action to stay safe. This may include things like staying indoors, avoiding travel, and being prepared for power outages. So when you see a “Winter Storm Warning” in the forecast, make sure to take it seriously and take appropriate precautions.
Winter Storm Watch: A “Winter Storm Watch” is a message issued by the National Weather Service to alert the public of the possibility of a major winter storm. Storm watches are issued when conditions are favorable for a particular type of severe weather event, but its occurrence, timing, and/or exact location is still uncertain.
Winter Storm Outlook: The “Winter Storm Outlook” is a forecast that is released by the National Weather Service. This outlook provides information on the potential for winter storms in the next week. The outlook is based on the latest computer models, as well as input from weather experts.
Blizzard Warning: Any time the National Weather Service issues a Blizzard Warning, it means they expect at least three hours of snow and wind conditions so severe that visibility will be reduced to less than a quarter-mile. These conditions will make it very difficult to travel, and you should only do so if absolutely necessary.
Wind Chill Warning: A “Wind Chill Warning” is issued when the wind chill is expected to be hazardous to human health. This can happen when the wind chill is below -35°C (-31°F). The wind chill is the temperature that it feels like when you factor in the wind speed. It is important to dress warmly and protect exposed skin when the wind chill is this low.
Winter Weather Advisories: The National Weather Service issues “Winter Weather Advisories” when significant winter weather is expected. Winter weather can include heavy snow, blowing snow, ice, sleet, and freezing rain. If you are in an area that is under a Winter Weather Advisory, be sure to pay attention to the forecast and be prepared for dangerous travel conditions.
Dense Fog Advisory: A “Dense Fog Advisory” means that dense fog has developed and is expected to continue. Visibility may be reduced to a quarter mile or less in some areas, making driving difficult. If you must venture out, use low beams and leave plenty of space between you and other vehicles.
Snow Flurries: The “Snow Flurries” weather forecast means that light, fluffy snow is falling. This kind of snow is usually short-lived and doesn’t amount to much accumulation.
Snow Showers: “Snow showers” is a term used to generally describe a light shower of snow that falls from clouds. Snow showers can create hazardous driving conditions and schools may close due to the weather.
Blowing Snow: According to the National Weather Service, “Blowing Snow” is defined as snow that is falling and being blown around by the wind. This can create dangerous travel conditions, as visibility may be reduced and roads may become icy and slippery. If you must venture out in these conditions, be sure to dress warmly and take extra caution.
Sleet: Sleet is a type of weather where rain freezes into ice pellets before hitting the ground. It generally happens when there is warmer air above the colder air near the ground, causing rain to fall and then freeze.
Freezing Rain: The weather forecast for “Freezing Rain” is calling for precipitation that will freeze upon contact with the ground. This can create dangerous and slippery conditions, so it’s important to be aware of the forecast and take necessary precautions.
In Pennsylvania, we experience a variety of winter weather conditions each year. Some seasons are worse than others, but it’s always important to be prepared. By understanding some of the common terms used to describe winter storms, you can be better equipped to handle whatever Mother Nature throws your way!
How to Prepare for a Winter Storm Emergency
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania recommends that residents take the following steps to prepare for a winter storm emergency:
- Get an emergency supply kit that includes enough provisions for you and your family to live on for a minimum of three days. This should include food, water, medicine, first-aid supplies, and more.
- Check and update your family’s emergency supply kit before winter approaches. This will ensure that you have everything you need in case of an emergency.
- Make sure you have enough rock salt to melt ice on walkways, sand to improve traction, snow shovels and other snow removal equipment, and adequate clothing and blankets.
- Make an emergency plan for you and your family. This should include how you will get in touch with each other in an emergency and where you will go if you need to evacuate your home.
- Listen to your radio, television, or NOAA Weather Radio for weather reports so that you can be aware of any impending storms.
- Make sure your home is well insulated to keep warm air in and cold air out.
- If you have no heat, close off unneeded rooms so that you can conserve heat in the rooms that you are using.
- Learn how to shut off water valves in case a pipe bursts so that you can prevent flooding in your home.
- Use extreme caution when using alternative heating sources such as fireplaces or space heaters as they can be a fire hazard if used incorrectly.
- Lastly, dress in layers when going outside so that you can stay warm and dry no matter what the weather conditions are like.
By taking these simple steps, you can be prepared in case a winter storm hits Pennsylvania this year. So make sure to check your emergency supply kit, stock up on Rock salt and sand, listen to the weather reports, and dress in layers when going outside!
Winter Driving Tips for Pennsylvanians
Pennsylvania winters can be harsh, to say the least. Icy conditions, snow-covered roads, and freezing temperatures make driving a challenge—but it’s a challenge that can be met with proper preparation. Before you hit the road this winter, review these winter driving tips from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. With a little advance planning, you can get where you’re going safely and smoothly.
- Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid ice buildup in the fuel line and to reduce the risk of running out of gas if you get stuck in traffic.
- Pack an emergency kit including a shovel, traction mats or kitty litter, flares or reflectors, jumper cables, first-aid supplies, non-perishable snacks, and a fully charged phone.
- Clear all snow and ice from your windows, mirrors, lights, and roof before driving. Use a scraper or brush, not your hands or a credit card.
- Start slowly and increase speed gradually on slick roads. Use low gears when going up hills to keep traction and avoid skidding.
- Don’t use cruise control on slippery roads—you could lose control of your vehicle if you need to stop suddenly.
- Leave plenty of space between your vehicle and others on the road—it takes longer to stop on icy roads. And don’t tailgate snowplows!
- Brake gently when stopping to avoid skidding . . . and don’t pump your brakes if they start to lock up; instead, gently ease off the pedal until they regain traction.
- If you do start to slide while driving on icy roads: take your foot off the gas pedal; straighten your steering wheel; look in the direction you want to go; once traction is regained (often by downshifting), gently resume speed; and don’t overcorrect if you begin sliding in another direction—ease off the gas pedal or gently turn into the skid instead of away from it..
- In heavy snowfall conditions: use low gears when climbing hills; take turns slowly; avoid sudden stops where possible by looking well ahead of your vehicle for braking opportunities; don’t pass other vehicles unless absolutely necessary; stay behind snowplows… but remember that they often have to stop frequently so give them plenty of room (at least six car lengths); signals may be obscured by blowing snow so always use your turn signals earlier than normal when changing lanes or turning corners..
- Be especially cautious on bridges as they tend to freeze before regular roadway surfaces—and watch out for black ice (a thin layer of very slippery ice that looks like wet pavement). Slow down when approaching intersections since they’re one of the most likely places for vehicle crashes during winter weather..
By following these winter driving tips from PennDOT, you can arrive at your destination safely and without incident this winter season. Remember: take it slow on slick roads, give yourself extra following distance, clear all snow and ice off your vehicle before driving, and pack an emergency kit in case you get stranded. With a little preparation—and some patience—you can make it through even the roughest Pennsylvania winters unscathed!
Winter Tips For Staying Safe Outdoors
The winter season can be a beautiful time of year. However, it is important to take some extra precautions if you plan on spending time outdoors. Below are some winter tips to keep in mind to help you stay safe during the colder months.
- Use caution not to over exert yourself when shoveling snow. It is easy to get dehydrated when you are sweating, and the cold air can aggravate an existing heart condition. Take breaks often, and if you feel dizzy or lightheaded, stop and rest.
- Cover your mouth when outdoors. This will help protect your lungs from the cold air.
- Dress in layers, and try to keep your clothing dry. Wet clothing will make you more susceptible to hypothermia.
- Watch for signs of frostbite, such as numbness or tingling in extremities. If you notice these symptoms, go indoors immediately and warm the affected area gently.
- Watch for signs of hypothermia, such as shivering, confusion, drowsiness, and slurred speech. If you notice these symptoms, go indoors immediately and call 911.
By following these winter tips, you can help ensure that your time outdoors is safe and enjoyable. Remember to use caution when shoveling snow, cover your mouth when outside, dress in layers, and watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia. By taking these precautions, you can help ensure that your winter is a happy and healthy one!
Prepare for Winter in Pennsylvania
Winter is coming and it’s important to be prepared. Whether you are staying in your home or hitting the road, we hope our tips help you stay safe and warm this winter season. Be sure to sign up for our free newsletter so that you can receive regular local and regional updates. And don’t forget to share these tips with your friends and family on social media!
This article is intended for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only and should not be construed as advice, guidance or counsel. It is provided without warranty of any kind.