Winter Weather Definitions

The National Weather Service issues many different types of watches and warnings during the winter months.  Here is what they mean.

WINTER STORM WATCH:

Severe winter conditions, such as heavy snow and/or ice, are possible within the next day or two. Prepare now!

WINTER STORM WARNING:

Severe winter conditions have begun or are about to begin in your area. Stay indoors!

BLIZZARD WARNING:

Snow and strong winds will combine to produce a blinding snow (near zero visibility), deep drifts, and life-threatening wind chill. Seek refuge immediately!

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY:

Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. If caution is exercised, these situations should not become life- threatening. The greatest hazard is often to motorists.

FROST/FREEZE WARNING:

Below freezing temperatures are expected and may cause significant damage to plants, crops, or fruit trees. In areas unaccustomed to freezing temperatures, people who have homes without heat need to take added precautions.

 

We as weather forecasters use different wording or terms when we describe a snow event.  Whether it is just some flurries or a large winter storm we use different words that best suit the snow event that is expected.