If you notice someone with warning signs of hypothermia, get them to a warm place right away. Protect yourself from the cold this winter. (Photo//NOAA)
Whatever weather happens during the winter, people need to be able to take responsibility for their own safety.
The National Weather Service says part of that is knowing the typical winter conditions in Indiana. Indiana winters bring high temperatures averaging between 25 and 35 degrees and low temperatures averaging between 15 and 25 degrees. Snowfall varies across the state with average winter snowfalls ranging from 15 inches in the south to over 30 inches in the north with locations near Lake Michigan often receiving more than 60 inches of snow.
The winter weather outlook favors above normal precipitation. The National Weather Service says in Indiana, frequent weather systems may occur. This can bring large swings in temperatures as well as the potential for large amounts of rain, snow or ice. More likely is minor rain, snow and ice events though you can never leave out the possibility of a crippling blizzard, ice storm, major flood or tornado.
In addition to cold temperatures being the norm, the National Weather Service said wind chill is almost always present and can be dangerous. Wind chill is the temperature it feels like outside due to the wind carrying heat away from your body. Air temperatures near zero and winds to 20 mph create wind chills to 20 below zero leading to frostbite in 30 minutes.
Health and safety concerns become apparent when there are extremely cold conditions that include frostbite and hypothermia. Carbon monoxide poisoning and fires are often caused by alternate heating sources.
The National Weather Service says preventative action is the best defense against winter cold. People should dress in several layers of lightweight clothing and wear waterproof, insulated boots. When shoveling snow, people should take breaks to reduce over-exertion.