Watching the weather keeps our children safe. Planning for playtime, field trips, or weather safety is part of the daily routine. The changes in weather require monitoring the health and safety of children.
- Air Quality Index
- Child Care Weather Watch
- Emergency Closing Center
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
- Winter Weather
- Children may play outdoors and be comfortable. Watch for signs of children becoming uncomfortable while playing.
- Use precautions regarding clothing, sunscreen, and beverages for all child age groups.
- Remind children to stop playing, drink a beverage, and apply more sunscreen.
- Children may need a firm approach to wearing proper clothing for the weather (they may want to play without coats, hats or mittens). They may resist applying sunscreen and drinking beverages while outdoors.
- Use caution and closely observe the children for signs of being too hot or cold while outdoors.
- Clothing, sunscreen, and beverages are important.
- Children may insist they are not too hot or cold because they are enjoying playtime. Shorten the length of time for outdoor play.
- Children may need a firm approach to wearing proper clothing for the weather (they may want to play without coats, hats or mittens), applying sunscreen and drinking liquids while playing outdoors.
- Most children should not play outdoors due to the health risk.
- Children may ask to play outside and do not understand the potential danger of weather conditions.
- Outside play should be limited to very short periods of time if they are properly dressed.
Extremely cold air comes every winter into at least part of the country and affects millions of people across the United States. The arctic air can be dangerous. Combined with brisk winds, dangerously cold wind chill values can result. People exposed to extreme cold are susceptible to frostbite and can succumb to hypothermia in a matter of minutes. Areas most prone to frostbite are uncovered skin and the extremities, such as hands and feet. Hypothermia occurs when the body loses heat faster than it can produce it.
- Blizzard Warnings are issued for frequent gusts greater than or equal to 35 mph accompanied by falling and/or blowing snow, frequently reducing visibility to less than 1/4 mile for three hours or more. A Blizzard Warning means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Falling and blowing snow with strong winds and poor visibilities are likely, leading to whiteout conditions making travel extremely difficult. Do not travel. If you must travel, have a winter survival kit with you. If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle and wait for help to arrive.
- Excessive Heat Warnings are issued within 12 hours of the onset of extremely dangerous heat conditions. The general rule of thumb for this Warning is when the maximum heat index temperature is expected to be 105° or higher for at least 2 days and night time air temperatures will not drop below 75°; however, these criteria vary across the country, especially for areas not used to extreme heat conditions. If you don't take precautions immediately when conditions are extreme, you may become seriously ill or even die.
- Ice Storm Warnings are usually issued for ice accumulation of around 1/4 inch or more. This amount of ice accumulation will make travel dangerous or impossible and likely lead to snapped power lines and falling tree branches. Travel is strongly discouraged.
- Lake Effect Snow Warnings are issued when widespread or localized lake induced snow squalls or heavy showers are expected to produce significant snowfall accumulation. Lake effect snow usually develops in narrow bands and impacts a limited area. These bands can produce very heavy snow with sudden restrictions in visibility. Driving conditions may become hazardous at times.
- Winter Storm Warnings are issued for a significant winter weather event including snow, ice, sleet or blowing snow or a combination of these hazards. Travel will become difficult or impossible in some situations. Delay your travel plans until conditions improve.
- Wind Chill Warnings are issued for a combination of very cold air and strong winds that will create dangerously low wind chill values. This level of wind chill will result in frostbite and lead to hypothermia if precautions are not taken. Avoid going outdoors and wear warm protective clothing if you must venture outside. See the NWS Wind Chill Chart.
- Excessive Heat Watches Heat watches are issued when conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event in the next 24 to 72 hours. A Watch is used when the risk of a heat wave has increased but its occurrence and timing is still uncertain.
- Winter Storm Watches are issued when conditions are favorable for a significant winter storm event (heavy sleet, heavy snow, ice storm, heavy snow and blowing snow or a combination of events.)
- Wind Chill Watches are issued when there is the potential for a combination of extremely cold air and strong winds to create dangerously low wind chill values. See the NWS Wind Chill Chart.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) assists eligible low-income households with their heating and cooling energy costs, bill payment assistance, energy crisis assistance, weatherization and energy-related home repairs.
Winter storms can bring snow, sleet, and freezing rain across the entire United States and its territories. Even Hawaii gets snow in its Big Island, and major cities as far south as Atlanta and Dallas have been paralyzed by snow and ice. Blizzards occur when strong wind causes blowing snow and whiteout conditions, making roads impassable.