Winter Weather

Winter Weather
Winters in Virginia can mean snow or subfreezing temperatures, as well as strong winds, ice, and heavy rain storms. Winter weather can knock out heat, power and communication services to your home or office for possibly days at a time.

Prepare for Winter Weather

  • Make sure your home is well insulated and that you have weather stripping around your doors and window sills to keep the warm air inside.
  • Familiarize yourself with the terms that are used to identify winter weather.
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  • Freezing Rain: Creates a coating of ice on roads and walkways.
  • Sleet: Rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground, causing roads to freeze and become slippery.
  • Winter Weather Advisory: Cold, ice and snow are expected.
  • Winter Storm Watch: Severe weather, such as heavy snow or ice, is possible in the next day or two.
  • Winter Storm Warning: Severe winter conditions have begun or will begin very soon.
  • Blizzard Warning: Heavy snow and strong winds will produce a blinding snow, near zero visibility, deep drifts and life-threatening wind chill.
  • Frost/Freeze Warning: Below-freezing temperatures are expected.
  • Include adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.
  • If you have a car, fill the gas tank in case you have to leave.
  • Plan to stay inside and make it on your own, at least for a period of time.
  • If you have a wood burning fire place, consider storing wood to keep you warm if winter weather knocks out your heat.
  • Learn more about getting ready for winter weather

Winter Driving Tips

Know the Road Conditions Before You Leave

Stay Informed

  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio to stay informed of winter weather watches and warnings.
  • Also monitor commercial radio, television and the Internet.
  • Keep in mind that during a severe winter storm it could be hours, or even days, before emergency personnel are able to reach you.

Read More

Visit the Web sites of the Ready Virginia partner agencies for more winter preparedness and safety information.

  • Virginia Department of Transportation:
  • Virginia Department of Fire Programs:
  • Virginia Department of Social Services:
  • National Weather Service:
  • American Red Cross: