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Preparing for Winter Weather

Planning for Winter Weather
“The New York Times recently wrote:”
Planning for wintry weather is important, but so is enjoying the cold and snow. Your smartphone can help with both.
We used to rely on TV and radio reports for winter weather forecasts and alerts, but apps can provide more up-to-the-minute alerts. NOAA Radar Pro, $2 on iOS, gets data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
NOAA Radar Pro also includes storm warnings and other severe weather alerts, and can automatically notify you about predictions for a specific location, giving you time to prepare.
There’s a free version for iOS, but it doesn’t include the alerts.
As an alternative, Yahoo Weather, free on iOS and Android, is fast becoming one of my favorites because of its design. It lacks an alert system, though, so you will have to watch it more closely to check for bad weather.
For an entirely different feel, check out Weathermob. This free iOS app is like a crowdsourced weather forecasting service.
Users upload information and photographs of the weather conditions in their location, so you can see just how deep the snow is or how icy the roads are.
The reports are not as scientific as those of other weather apps, but the personal touch of real people sharing weather data for a particular place may be appealing.
Getting stuck in your car in wintry weather can pose real dangers. Winter Survival Kit, free on both iOS and Android, is full of great advice and useful features for this situation.
A section about how to prepare for winter travel includes tips like packing kitty litter in your car to help tires get a grip on ice. Pressing a large “I’m stranded!” button takes you to a section that tells you what to do if you get stuck in your car. This includes dialing 911 (which people do forget to do) and staying inside your vehicle.
Winter Survival Kit can also alert you to check your car exhaust pipe for snow buildup and automatically message an emergency contact.
It has a section for storing emergency phone numbers and data like your AAA membership details.
It could prove helpful if you get stranded in a snowstorm.
Love winter and skiing? One great snow resort app packed with data is OnTheSnow Ski & Snow Report, free on iOS and Android. Use it to search for resorts nearby or for detailed information about snow and weather conditions and how many ski lifts are open at your favorite resorts.
You can upload your own resort photos and condition reports, and you can view real-time webcams to see snow conditions and some special deals on ski passes, map data to help direct you to resorts and trail maps for use while skiing.
If you are a Windows Phone user, the free app Winter Ski & Ride is an alternative to OnTheSnow. It packs a few extras like activity tracking and skiing and snowboarding lessons.
Quick Call Weather or Not is another effort to reinvent forecasting apps. Its extremely good-looking interface tries to deliver data to you quickly so you can decide at a glance whether, for example, to take a raincoat with you to your business meeting. Clever, and just $3 on iOS.

Tire Categories

All-Season: These tires are what you’ll find on the majority of passenger and luxury cars, minivans and even some compact pickup trucks. They are available in a very wide range of sizes, and have been engineered to appeal to the widest possible range of tire buyers. While they carry the designation “M+S,” which means they meet the definition of “traction tires” for mud and snow, they are not well-suited for deep snow or soupy muck. Their manufacturers mainly tout All-Season tires’ long tread life and comfortable ride.

Touring: Most commonly found on sporty sedans and coupes, Touring tires tilt the balance further in the direction of handling and dry grip than is the case with All-Season tires, though ride and inclement weather performance are not completely de-emphasized.

Performance: Standard equipment on sports cars, these are represented by Goodyear’s Eagle, Bridgestone’s Potenza, and BF Goodrich’s T/A lines, among others. Dry traction, steering response and a sporty appearance take precedence over tread life and ride comfort.

Snow Tires: As the name implies, these tires are designed specifically for use in deep snow. They feature a tread design with “lugs” to dig into snow and wide grooves into which the snow is compacted and removed as the wheels rotate. While many snow tires offer the option of adding metal studs for traction on ice, tire companies in recent years have developed new rubber compounds that significantly improve grip on icy surfaces . . . a definite advantage for drivers in areas where studded tires are not allowed.

The History of “On The Wheel” Tire Repair

                                    History of “On The Wheel” Repairs

When tubeless tires first appeared in the market place there two types of outside/ “on the wheel repairs” repairs. The rubber plug and the string type repair. The rubber plug consisted of tab of preset cured rubber, when dipped in rubber cement made a temporary repair. The product was difficult to insert into small punctures and ineffective in repairing irregular punctures (glass cuts ect.). When the rubber cement dried and cracked under road heat and pressure the repairs often leaked. With the advent of steel belted radial tires the insertion of the rubber plug became almost impossible as the plug often broke upon insertion.

String type repair consisted of a thin usually cotton string, that was immersed in a non-vulcanizing rubber solution. Since it was impossible to saturate anything larger than a thin cord the single strand was put into the injury and twisted to form a multi-layers and pulled back allowing sufficient layers of yarn to repair the puncture. The un-vulcanized rubber solution made a temporary repair as road heat and normal tire pressure caused the sealant  to ooze or ”wick” from the yarn leaving it uncoated.

Both types were temporary and did not make an effective seal.

In the late 1960’s  A.W.Niconchuk a rubber chemist and founder of North Shore Labs Corp Peabody Ma. undertook extensive research and development to produce the first permanent “on the wheel” repair. The patented process consisted of coating selected synthetic yarns with a proprietary vulcanizable rubber cement then twisting the coated parallel yarns into a repair unit larger enough to repair up to ¼” puncture. The repair unit was subjected to heat for partial vulcanizing but remained soft pliable and tacky.

This new product Safety Seal made a safe effective repair. Niconchuk further developed a special split eye insertion needle to install the repair. The product was an instant success. Safety Seal has sold over a billion repairs worldwide and this type of repair has been imitated but never completely copied by numerous other manufactures.