Wapello Area Weather Information
You may click on the link below to get the most up to date weather information for the Wapello area. Once at the National Weather Service Website, any warnings or special weather statements will be in red, and to view those statements, click on the red title, and it will open the special weather statement.
Click Here For The Latest Wapello Area Weather: forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php
Iowa Winter Driving Tips
Winter driving can be extremely hazardous due to poor road conditions or reduced visibility from heavy or blowing snow or rain. During these times, travel is difficult if not dangerous, and often not recommended. However, many people still venture outdoors not knowing what they will encounter. This is why being properly prepared is a must-it may save your life and the lives of those traveling with you.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the leading cause of death during winter storms are transportation accidents. Preparations for the winter season and knowing how to react if stranded or lost on the road are the keys to safe winter traveling.
Before winter starts or you leave for a trip in the winter, have the following items checked on your car:
Wipers and windshield washer fluid
Flashing hazard lights
Oil level (if necessary, replace existing oil with a winter grade oil)
Don't forget to check the tires. Make sure the tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions. However, some jurisdictions require that to drive on their roads, vehicles must be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs. Keep at least a half tank of gas in the car during the winter season.
Prepare an emergency kit to keep in the back of your car. This will ensure that you are prepared in the event that you get stuck in the snow. Things to include in the kit:
Set of tire chains or traction mats
Kitty litter or a bag of sand (to give traction if you get stuck in snow or ice)
Blankets or a sleeping bag
Flashlight with extra batteries
Flares or warning triangles
Plastic bags (for sanitation)
First aid kit
Bright cloth to use as a flag
Help sign for back window
Extra hat and gloves or mittens
Canned food (with hand can opener) and bottled water to sustain you
A book, games, cards to keep you busy and calm in the event you get stuck
Charged cell phone (always carry this, especially in the winter)
In the event your car gets stuck, stay with your vehicle. If you leave you may become disoriented and get lost in blowing and drifting snow. Put up the hood and tie your cloth to the antennae. Put the "need help" sign in the window. This will make you more visible to emergency vehicles and other drivers. Keep the windows, air grill and tail pipe clear of snow. Beware of carbon monoxide poisoning. Keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow, and open a downwind window slightly for ventilation. Be aware that blowing or drifting snow can bury or seal a car shut. Wrap up in blankets or sleeping bags and, if there are others, huddle up with to stay warm. Run the heat for fifteen minutes each hour to keep from freezing. Move your body around to stay warm. Simple exercises, like those used on an airplane work well. Try not to stay in one position for too long.
Be aware of possible weather changes before driving. Tune into the weather report for the route you are traveling.
Pay attention to the weather terms used.
Most used Winter Weather Terms
Winter Storm Warning: Issued when dangerous weather such as heavy snow, heavy freezing rain, or heavy sleet is about to happen or occurring. Winter Storm Warnings are usually issued 12 to 24 hours before the weather is expected to begin.
Winter Storm Watch: The possibility of a blizzard, heavy snow, heavy freezing rain, or heavy sleet is in the weather outlook. These Storm Watches are usually issued 12 to 48 hours before the beginning of a Winter Storm.
Winter Storm Outlook: Issued preceding a Winter Storm Watch. The Outlook is given when meteorologists believe circumstances can create a storm and are normally issued 3 to 5 days in advance.
Blizzard Warning: Issued for sustained or gusty winds of 35 mph or more, and falling or blowing snow limits visibility to one quarter mile or less; this situation should last for at least three hours.
Lake Effect Snow Warning: Issued when heavy lake effect snow is pending or occurring.
Wind Chill Warning: Issued when wind chill temperatures are anticipated to be perilous to life within several minutes of exposure.
Wind Chill Advisory: Issued when wind chill temperatures are expected to cause considerable difficulty to life with protracted exposure, and, if care is not taken could lead to life threatening exposure.
Winter Weather Advisories: Issued for accumulations of snow, freezing rain, freezing drizzle, and sleet which will cause considerable problems and could lead to critical situations.
Driving in bad winter weather means being extra careful and alert, but the most important tip for winter driving is slow down! Always give yourself plenty of time to get where you are going, and get off the road before you get marooned by deteriorating weather conditions.