Winter Storm To Bring Heavy Rain, Snow To Upper Michigan

By: 
Contributor
A winter storm is making its way across the Western U.S. today, bringing high winds, heavy rain, and snow. The storm is expected to move into the Midwest on Sunday, December 8, and early Monday.
 
Flash flood watches, winter weather advisories, winter storm warnings, and wind alerts have been issued in parts of California, Idaho, and Montana. As the storm brings widespread precipitation, up to 6 inches of snow is possible in parts of the Upper Midwest, especially along the border of Michigan.
 
Bitter cold winds expected
 
The winter storm heading for Michigan is not only bringing heavy snowfall, but also frigid winds. Temperatures are expected to drop dramatically beginning on Wednesday, December 11.
 
Wind chills are expected to be as low as -35 degrees in parts of the Midwest. By Thursday, December 12, many Central and Eastern states will see temperatures below average for the season.
 
Forecasters warn that the cold air could make driving conditions especially dangerous. Americans already drive the least during the winter months at just 25.7 miles on average daily. But light snow and rain can make roads especially icy once colder air sweeps in.
 
"In some areas, winds may not have a chance to dry off roads and sidewalks before below-freezing air arrives," said Brian Wimer of AccuWeather.
 
Experts advise staying inside and dressing warm
 
Winter storms can last for several days and are accompanied by heavy snowfall, cold temperatures, freezing rain, and high winds. The cold air expected to hit after this weekend's snowstorm is especially dangerous.
 
Weather experts caution Americans to stay indoors and out of the cold. But it's important to be aware of the potential problems that can arise during a winter storm even when you're bundled up.
 
Here are a few tips to ensure you, your family, and pets stay safe and warm during a snowstorm:
 
  • Keep pets indoors. Most households in the U.S. have at least one pet. For those with dogs and cats, it's vital to keep your pets indoors because the cold weather puts them at risk for hypothermia and frostbite. Set up a temporary bathroom area in the house if it's too cold to safely walk your dog. Remember that if it's too cold for you, it's too cold for them.
  • Check your carbon monoxide detectors. While the average American home consumes 40% less natural gas than it did 40 years ago, carbon monoxide leaks are still a higher risk during winter storms and arctic blasts. Check your carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they're working properly. Have a set of extra batteries just in case.
  • Tend to your refrigerator. Losing power isn't the only thing that can keep your refrigerator from working properly during a snowstorm. To better understand your refrigerator's needs in freezing conditions, think of your fridge as a humidity/heat removing device like an air conditioner instead of a cooling device. Residential humidity levels ought to be kept between 30% and 55%, and it's recommended not to store fluids in glass containers during periods of severely low temperatures. Your refrigerator's performance is directly related to the temperature of the incoming water to the appliance, so keep this in mind if your fridge doesn't seem to be working properly.
  • Layer up. Despite precautions to stay inside, many Americans will still try to brave the cold, especially with the holidays right around the corner. While it's great to shop local and support the nation's 28 million small businesses and 400 million global entrepreneurs, it's crucial to remember to layer up before you shop. The last thing anyone wants for the holidays is frostbite. Avoid wearing cotton because it traps moisture against your skin. Synthetic fabrics made by sporting and outdoor companies that wick water away from the skin are best for layering. Wool is great for socks and polypropylene is best for underwear. Wear mittens rather than gloves and be sure to cover your face.
 
Winter weather can be dangerous if you're not prepared. By following the tips above, you can ensure your family and your home are ready for a snowstorm.

For full story, pick up a copy of the MONTH XX issue of The Allegan County News/The Union Enterprise/The Commercial Record or subscribe to the e-edition.

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