credit: NWS

WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — Winter weather arrived quicker than we expected this year.

Governor Jim Justice, along with the West Virginia Emergency Management Division and the National Weather Service have set in place for November 14 – 18, as the official Winter Weather Awareness Week in West Virginia. They say Winter Weather Preparation involves three steps:

BE INFORMED

Credit: NWS Warning, Watches, & Advisories Key

Winter Weather Warnings, Watches, and Advisories are issued by your local National Weather Service. In preparation of our cold season ahead, you should familiarize yourself with the colors of these warnings and what they represent, as well as where to find these issuing’s. National Weather service Warnings meaning to “Take Action”, Watches meaning to “Be Prepared”, and Advisories simply stating to “Be Aware”.

PREPARE

Snowy Roads & Snow Tires

There’s no better time than the present, to prepare your vehicle for the snow to come. Vehicles need yearly maintenance, winter being no exception. You should check your vehicle’s tires, windshield wipers, brakes/rotors, battery, coolant, and even change your oil as a thicker viscosity oil should be used to help your vehicle’s engine withstand the cold. Be cautious of black ice and remember to practice defensive driving.

TAKE ACTION

A Man Carrying Home His Groceries

During extremely cold weather, you should only venture outside if need be for groceries or emergency needs. Make sure to dress appropriately in layers while in the cold, and remember to change into dry clothing immediately if you are wet to prevent frostbite or hypothermia. You should also remind yourself to drink plenty of water as dehydration can play a huge factor in health risks during the cold wintery months.

Average Snow Fall Over 17 Years measured by 7News Studios

Snowfall over the past 17 years shows an average of 34.9 inches recorded at your local WTRF Studio. With that being said, this years snowfall is shaping up to be no exception. With a triple dip La Nina expected for this season, we will likely see warmer, wet conditions. Perfect for those who love to build a nice snowman in the front yard.