Discussion: Winter is still hanging on strong in parts of Upstate New York. Lake Effect Snow has been locked in on areas east of Lake Ontario, allowing for accumulations of snow in the feet range. For many across the Tug Hill Plateau, this is a common theme during the winter due to the unique topography of the region. The Tug Hill Plateau is a region of upland terrain located across portions of Oswego, Lewis, Jefferson, and Oneida counties in Upstate New York. This area is east of Lake Ontario making it a prime location for that heavy snowfall. Meteorologists forecast that 3-4 feet of snow could accumulate when the snow is done falling.
With these high amounts of snow falling, it’s important to know what the various watches and warnings mean. A winter storm warning is issued when snowfall of at least 6 inches is forecasted in twelve hours or 8 inches is forecasted in 24 hours. For a blizzard warning to be issued, visibility has to be lower than 1/4th of a mile due to blowing or falling snow with sustained winds or wind gusts of 35 mph for at least three hours. These are dangerous weather conditions that will make driving very unsafe, due to whiteout conditions and visibilities near zero. Winter storm warnings and blizzard warnings are currently in effect.
With heavy snow expected and falling, be prepared with the essentials at home and in your car! Most local agencies will strongly advise against traveling in these conditions, but if you must please have a safety kit in your car and have supplies in your cupboards or pantry. Make sure to have any medications on hand you might need in case you cannot leave your home during the storm or if you’re snowed in afterward. If you can do so safely, check on your elderly neighbors or anyone who might be at risk during these types of events! Follow your local National Weather Service and local meteorologists for up to date, real-time information!
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©2020 Meteorologist Shannon Scully
It is the dead of winter right now. Trees are bare, temperatures are cold, and some parts of the country are covered in snow – or just old, grey slush. You might be wondering – why am I reading an article about heat? Well, as plans for summer activities and vacations begin to take shape in the coming weeks and months, it is important to keep in mind that hot summer temperatures can have negative effects on your health.
Many people are very active during the summer, taking advantage of warmer, sunnier days. Perhaps you’re a runner, a biker, or a hiker. Maybe you like to get together with friends to play soccer or volleyball or basketball after work. Children especially love to spend their time free from school in the great outdoors, from playing on the playground to attending sports training camps. Increased body temperatures from outdoor activities, on top of baseline, hot summer temperatures, provide an increased risk for heat-related illness.
However, even those who prefer to spend their summer perched in a beach chair are not immune to such illnesses. If you are outside, you should be alert for heat stress and heat stroke symptoms in yourself and others. Beaches can be particularly hazardous as sun reflects off of hot sand and shade is limited. Additionally, air conditioning may be a few blocks’ walk away to your hotel or beach house. Baseball games, too, can have you roasting in the sun for hours on end, much like those peanuts you’re probably eating.
Alright – how can you prevent heat-related illness? One of the best precautions to take is to drink plenty of water. Water breaks should be a staple in all outdoor athletic endeavors, from morning runs to after-work games to week-long elite sports camps. A water bottle should be the hottest accessory every beach season. One way to remember to take water breaks is to make a playlist for the day with a designated “water song” added multiple times, preferably once for every 15-20 songs. Every time this song plays, everyone must stop what they’re doing and hydrate.
Shade is another key tool in fighting heat illness. From tailgate tents to beach umbrellas, there are many options for making your own shade when no natural shade is readily available.
A final way to avoid heat illnesses is to take indoor, air-conditioned breaks when spending an entire day outside. Going back to a beach house or to a nearby restaurant for lunch when spending a day at the shore is a great way to break up the day. The same thing applies for outdoor sports camps. Overall, lunch breaks indoors are ideal because heat is often most intense in the early afternoon hours when the sun is directly overhead. Lunch is a great time to escape peak heat.
Signs of heat stress and heat stroke are included in the above image. Know them so that you can spot them in yourself and your friends, and seek help when necessary!
©2020 Meteorologist Margaret Orr
(Image from www.weather.gov)
For more information on how to prepare for dangerous weather, visit https://www.globalweatherclimatecenter.com/weather-safety-educational-topics