What Winter Weather Warnings Mean

Posted on 08. Jan, 2018 by in News

The National Weather Service (NWS) issues outlooks, watches, warnings, and advisories for all winter weather hazards. Here’s what they mean and what to do. Use the information below to make an informed decision on your risk and what actions to take.


– Winter Storm Watch: Be Prepared. A watch means that severe winter conditions may affect your area. NWS issues a watch to provide 12 to 36 hours notice.

– Winter Storm Warning: Take Action! NWS issues a warning when it forecasts four or more inches of snow or sleet in the next 12 hours, six or more inches in 24 hours, or 1/4 inch or more of ice accumulation. Travel will become difficult. Delay your travel plans until conditions improve.

– Winter Weather Advisory: Be Aware.  An advisory informs you that winter weather may produce hazardous conditions.

– Blizzard Warning lets you know that snow and strong winds will combine to produce a blinding snow (near zero visibility), deep drifts, and life-threatening wind chill.





Listen to your local officials for the latest information, and visit www.ready.gov/winter-weather to learn more about preparing for snowstorms and extreme cold.