ST. CLOUD - Winter Hazard Awareness Week kicks off today in Minnesota with the topic of winter storms.

The National Weather Services says winter storms are formed from a combination of factors including cold air, moisture, and warm air colliding with cold air which is forced to rise. This is also known as lift.

These conditions can produce winter storms. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety advises you to stay ahead of winter storms by checking the National Weather Service and inform yourself on what each of the winter advisories mean.

They also advise that you take caution during times of extreme cold where temperatures reach below zero. Know the warning signs of hypothermia.

Snow accumulation is also a dangerous factor during a winter storm. You should have a safety plan in place because heavy snow accumulation can immobilize a region.