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As a James Madison University student and staff member, you may hear many terms and definitions when a winter storm approaches and arrives. Many media outlets and the National Weather Service use terms that can help in both preparedness and reacting to various winter weather possibilities. Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify a winter storm hazard:

  • Freezing Rain - Rain that freezes when it hits the ground, creating a coating of ice on roads, walkways, trees and power lines.
  • Sleet - Rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes moisture on roads to freeze and become slippery.
  • Winter Weather Advisory - Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life threatening.
  • Winter Storm Watch - A winter storm is possible in your area. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for more information.

For additional Winter Weather terms and definitions click on the following link:

What is the best source of information about winter weather? NOAA Weather Radio is the prime alerting and critical information delivery system of the National Weather Service (NWS). Local TV stations, radio, web media outlets, and National Weather Service for the JMU area provides numerous resource links. Also check out the National Weather Service or regional weather information.

If you find yourself in a residence hall or campus buildings during a severe storm make sure it is okay to go or move to another building. Make sure you know where the building safe space is located if needed. If you have an emergency bag in your room make sure you have it close by and check the contents.

Additional information can be found on the Virginia Department of Emergency Management website.

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