Watch, Warning, or Advisory? What do they mean?
4) Winter Storm Warning…
A winter storm warning is issued when a hazardous winter weather event is occurring, imminent, or has a very high probability of occurrence. Warning products are used for conditions that pose a threat to life or property. Winter Storm warnings are issued for several types of hazardous winter weather, including heavy snow, sleet, or a combination of snow and wind.
ACTION: YOU SHOULD ACT NOW. STAY INDOORS IF POSSIBLE UNTIL THE STORM ENDS. LIMIT TRAVEL TO ONLY WHAT IS ESSENTIAL.
5) Ice Storm Warning…
An ice storm warning is issued when freezing rain will accumulate at a rate that causes a coating of ice that will make outdoor activities dangerous. Tree limbs and power lines fall under the weight of the ice. These conditions are fairly rare but, when they occur, can be especially dangerous.
6) Blizzard Warning…
Blizzard warnings are issued when:
- There are sustained wind speeds of 35 mph or more, or frequents wind gusts of 35 mph or more.
- Considerable falling and/or blowing snow is occurring, reducing visibility to less then 1/4 of a mile.
7) Dangerous Wind Chill Warning…
Wind chill warnings are issued when the wind chill of -20 degrees or colder are expected or occurring and:
- Expected to last one hour or longer.
- Wind speeds of 10 mph or more are expected or occurring.
8) Avalanche Warning…
Avalanche warnings are issued by the Northwest Avalanche Forecast Center, located in Seattle. These products are issued when there is a significant threat of avalanches in the Cascades and Olympics backcountry, possibly affecting mountain roadways and other high country interests.
[For more info, see the NW Avalanche Center’s website]
- Additional Links of Interest…
- NOAA’s Weather Safety website
- Preparedness for Severe Weather
- Each local office may have historic storm data and photographs online (see office links below)
Remember, in times of hazardous winter weather, you can get all these vital NOAA/National Weather Service messages via NOAA Weather Radio, your favorite local media, or through NOAA’s National Weather Service websites.