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MAINE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
Winter Weather Awareness Week: The Basics
October 30, 2006
The National Weather Service Offices that serve Northern New England have declared the week of October 30th through November 3rd Winter Weather Awareness Week.
For those of us who live in Northern New England, winter weather is a part of our lives from November through March. Despite this October's relatively warm weather, snow, sleet, freezing rain, cold temperatures, high winds.and cold wind chill temperatures will be common occurrences soon. While most of the time these weather elements are only a nuisance to our daily routines, they can produce hazardous or life-threatening situations for those who are not prepared or do not take the proper precautions.
In Maine, normal snowfall averages from 50 to 70 inches along the coast, but gradually increases as you move inland to more than 140 inches in the mountains. In northern Maine, 100 to 120 inches of snow falls annually. The lesser amounts in coastal areas are partly a result of a frequent change-over to sleet, freezing rain.or rain during many well-developed winter storms.
To those driving or walking, this mixture of precipitation can be even more dangerous than snow. As Maine residents are all aware from January 1998, large accumulations of freezing rain can cause disastrous conditions. High winds, cold temperatures, cold wind chill temperatures and coastal flooding can also accompany or follow winter storms.
To alert the public to potentially dangerous winter weather events or situations, the National Weather Service issues Outlooks, Watches, Warnings and Advisories. Keep the following general definitions in mind and visit Watch, Warning and Advisory Criteria for Winter Storms to learn about specific warning criteria for Maine storms.
This information was prepared by the National Weather Service Forecast Offices in Gray and Caribou, Maine. For more information, please visit them at:
Last update: 07/20/10
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