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Winter Weather Awareness Week: Terms To Know

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National Weather Service

National Weather Service

The National Weather Service in Binghamton, urges you to prepare for the harsh, and sometimes dangerous weather that winter often brings.

In the final segment of our Winter Weather Awareness Week stories, the National Weather Service will explain the terms used to describe winter weather as well as the definitions of watches, warnings, and advisories issued for winter weather events.

Watches are issued when a storm is in it’s early stage of development, and may create conditions that may harm life and property.

The following are the watch headlines issued for winter weather events:

A winter storm outlook is issued prior to a winter storm watch. The outlook is issued when a forecaster believes winter storm conditions are possible 3 to 5 days in the future.

In general a winter storm watch is issued when heavy snow, accumulating freezing rain, or heavy sleet may occur. Winter storm watches are typically issued 36 to 72 hours before a winter storm starts.

A blizzard watch is issued when blizzard conditions may occur in the next 36 to 72 hours. Warnings are issued when the threat to life and property is imminent or has already begun.

National Weather Service

National Weather Service

The following are the warning headlines issued for winter weather events:

A winter storm warning is issued when hazardous winter weather in the form of heavy snow, heavy freezing rain, heavy sleet or any combination there of, is imminent or occurring. Winter storm warnings are typically issued 12 to 36 hours before the event is expected to start.

A blizzard warning is issued when sustained or gusty winds of 35 mph or more prevail, combined with falling or blowing snow, reduce visibilities of one quarter of a mile or blow, and last for at least 3 hours.

A lake effect snow warning is issued when heavy lake effect snow is imminent or occurring.

A wind chill warning is issued when the combination of extreme cold and winds greater than 5 mph occur. This combination will result in frostbite, hypothermia, or even death when exposed in this type of condition for an extended period of time.

National Weather Service

National Weather Service

Advisories are issued for less serious weather conditions that will not cause immediate threat to life and property. Advisories will be issued when weather conditions will impact motorists, outdoor activities, or public events if proper precautions are not taken.

The following are the advisory headlines issued for winter weather events:

A winter weather advisory is issued for accumulations of snow, freezing rain, freezing drizzle, or sleet, that will create inconveniences. During an advisory, if caution is not exercised, life and property may be threatened.

A lake effect snow advisory is issued when accumulations of from lake effect snow will cause inconveniences.

A wind chill advisory is issued when wind chill temperatures create inconvenience to life with prolonged exposure. If caution is not exercised, hypothermia and frostbite may occur.

We hope you have benefitted from these reminders during Winter Weather Awareness Week. Thanks to the National Weather Service in Binghamton for making the information available.

You can depend on X101 Always Classic for weather information in Cortland County.

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