Each year, one week is proclaimed "Severe Winter Weather Awareness Week" by the Governor. North Dakotans are encouraged to prepare their homes and vehicles for winter weather. While the danger from winter weather varies across the country, nearly all Americans, regardless of where they live, are likely to face some type of severe winter weather at some point in their lives. That could mean snow or subfreezing temperatures, as well as strong winds or even ice or heavy rain storms. One of the primary concerns is the winter weather's ability to knock out heat, power and communications services to your home or office, sometimes for days at a time. The National Weather Service refers to winter storms as the "Deceptive Killers" because most deaths are indirectly related to the storm. Instead, people die in traffic accidents on icy roads and of hypothermia from prolonged exposure to cold. It is important to be prepared for winter weather before it strikes.

Severe winter storms can cause widespread damage and disruption. Heavy snow often results in paralyzed transportation systems and automobile accidents due to slippery roads and stranded vehicles. Ice storms can topple utility lines and poles, and make travel virtually impossible. These conditions pose a threat to life. Individual preparation is the key to survival.

The North Dakota winter season usually begins in late November and continues until late March. On average, the state experiences three to four severe winter storms each year. Winter precipitation is nearly all in the form of snow and is often associated with strong winds and low temperatures. Winter storms are normally accompanied by strong winds, creating blizzard conditions with blinding, wind-driven snow, severe drifting, dangerous wind chill and heavy accumulations of ice and/or heavy snow. Homes, farms, livestock and rural communities may be isolated for lengthy periods. Extreme cold often accompanies a winter storm. Prolonged exposure to the cold can cause frostbite or hypothermia and become life-threatening. 

Please use the links below for safety tips. For more information about winter weather, please visit the National Weather Service (NWS) website..