At SmallBusiness.com, we know how the weather can impact small businesses in many ways. For instance, the day we shared this, a huge section of the eastern U.S. is covered (or about to be) in a major blanket of snow. Here are some places to find answers to snow and winter weather questions — and resources for when that weather turns into a disaster for businesses — thanks to the U.S. National Weather Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Homeland Security.
National Weather Service Winter Resources
A helpful landing page that leads to a wide range of information about winter weather, including answers to basic questions like, “What’s a blizzard?” Here’s a list of other snow-related phenomena:
- Blizzard: Sustained winds or frequent gusts of 35 mph or more with snow and blowing snow frequently reducing visibility to less than a quarter mile for 3 hours or more.
- Blowing Snow: Wind-driven snow that reduces visibility. Blowing snow may be falling snow and/or snow on the ground picked up by the wind.
- Snow Squalls: Brief, intense snow showers accompanied by strong, gusty winds. Accumulation may be significant.
- Snow Showers: Snow falling at varying intensities for brief periods of time. Some accumulation is possible.
- Flurries: Light snow falling for short durations with little or no accumulation.
- Avalanche: A mass of tumbling snow. More than 80 percent of midwinter avalanches are triggered by a rapid accumulation of snow and 90 percent of those avalanches occur within 24 hours of snowfall. An avalanche may reach a mass of a million tons and travel at speeds up to 200 mph.
National Weather Service Snow Analysis
Serious data for those who are really into snow. Of course, there are lots of small businesses that depend on such snow analysis for their work, so understanding snow is a major issue for lots of businesses in agriculture, recreation, construction and many other fields.
Winter weather emergency preparedness
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. From Ready.gov, here are resources for how to prepare your family, yourself and your business for winter weather before it strikes.
Weather Prediction Center
While there are unlimited sources for weather predictions, the vast majority of data used to make those predictions comes from the National Weather Service. Here is a landing page that can point you to dozens of different ways that will help you talk about the weather, but none that allows anyone to change it. (Yet.)
Photos, maps: NOAA, NWS
Video via YouTube