ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Monday is the start of Winter Weather Preparedness Week in Illinois.
Though it may not be cold today, Halloween was very cold last week, and it is very rare to have temperatures only reach the 30s that early in the year. With those very cold days already upon us, there are several ways you can prepare for the cold and winter season.
While on the road, always make sure to have a full tank of gas in the winter. Sharing travel plans with family and friends is a good idea especially if you have to travel during winter storms.
You can winterize your vehicle and check up to date road conditions and the forecast.
Also be sure to have an emergency supply kit stashed in your car which includes: a cell phone charger, water and snacks, a first aid kit, jumper cables, a spare tire, flares, sand or kitty litter, tow ropes, blankets, snow shovel and brush/ice scraper, flashlight, mittens, hat, boots and warm clothes. This is a great idea because you may not know when you could encounter winter weather or road closures.
Be sure to know before you go. You can monitor the local forecast on mystateline.com and even check road conditions. For road conditions in Illinois, you can go to gettingaroundillinois.com and for up-to-date road conditions in Wisconsin go to 511WI.gov.
If you do encounter slippery stretches on the road, be sure to increase following distance and slow down.
From rain to snow to sleet and freezing rain. These are all different types of precipitation that fall during the winter months.
Snowflakes never melt. Sleet is when droplets freeze and form ice before reaching the surface. Freezing rain freezes on contact with the surface. And rain never freezes.
Freezing rain creates a dangerous coating of ice on roadways, walkways, trees, and power lines, similar to what we saw this past winter in February 2023 which was the first Ice Storm in many years.
The National Weather Service issues local watches and warnings. A watch means significant winter impacts may occur, a warning means significant winter impacts will occur, and an advisory means minor winter impacts will occur.
Some winter alerts include: a winter weather advisory, winter storm watch, winter storm warning, ice storm warning, and blizzard warning. Some other alerts the NWS will issue are snow squall warnings and when temperatures fall enough, wind chill advisories, watches, or warnings.
Winter Weather Preparedness Week in Illinois runs through Friday. Winter Weather Awareness Week in Wisconsin is from November 13 through the 17th.