This is the first of the Weather Word Wednesday series, where each Wednesday I take a word or set of words found in weather reporting or meteorology, and let you know what they mean! My aim is to educate and help you understand what’s really being talked about on your favorite weather report, blog, or publication. Today we are going to talk briefly about Winter Storm advisories, watches and warnings!
Winter Storm Advisory: An advisory is issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) when a significant winter storm or hazardous winter weather is occurring, imminent, and is an inconvenience. This means bad weather is happening right now or will happen soon, but it won’t be as bad as what you get with a Winter Storm Warning.
Winter Storm Watch: A watch is issued when significant winter weather, like heavy snow, sleet, significant freezing rain, or a combination of events, is expected, but not imminent. A warning provides about 12 to 36 hours notice of the possibility of severe winter weather.
Winter Storm Warning: This is issued when significant winter weather is occurring, imminent, or likely, and is a threat to life or property. If you hear a Winter Storm Warning for your area, you should probably remain inside with a nice cup of hot chocolate! But be prepared to dig yourself out later!
During the course of any given winter, you are likely to hear all three of these weather statements issued at one time or another. Even here in Arizona, we get Winter Storm Warnings when the occasional super heavy snowstorm rolls through. It’s good to have a basic understanding of the urgency associated with each of these weather statements, as it ultimately helps you get prepared for the weather ahead. Keep an eye on the TV, or an ear to the radio, and always know what’s happening outside!
Sources : The Weather Channel