If you read yesterday’s blog, today’s winter storm warning (shown below) shouldn’t be a big surprise… I don’t understand why we only had a winter weather advisory yesterday. So, what are all the definitions of the winter advisories and warnings? Here they are:
Winter Storm Warning: Issued when hazardous winter weather in the form of heavy snow, heavy freezing rain, or heavy sleet is imminent or occurring. Winter Storm Warnings are usually issued 12 to 24 hours before the event is expected to begin.
Winter Storm Watch: Alerts the public to the possibility of a blizzard, heavy snow, heavy freezing rain, or heavy sleet. Winter Storm Watches are usually issued 12 to 48 hours before the beginning of a Winter Storm.
Winter Storm Outlook: Issued prior to a Winter Storm Watch. The Outlook is given when forecasters believe winter storm conditions are possible and are usually issued 3 to 5 days in advance of a winter storm.
Winter Weather Advisories: Issued for accumulations of snow, freezing rain, freezing drizzle, and sleet which will cause significant inconveniences and, if caution is not exercised, could lead to life-threatening situations.
Snow Flurries: Light snow falling for short durations. No accumulation or light dusting is all that is expected.
Snow Showers: Snow falling at varying intensities for brief periods of time. Some accumulation is possible.
Snow Squalls: Brief, intense snow showers accompanied by strong, gusty winds. Accumulation may be significant. Snow squalls are best known in the Great Lakes region.
Blowing Snow: Wind-driven snow that reduces visibility and causes significant drifting. Blowing snow may be snow that is falling and/or loose snow on the ground picked up by the wind.
I remember that these definitions had snowfall amounts in the past. These are more about the impact of a storm that the amount of snow expected. Enjoy the snow. Another, lighter round is due on Tuesday or Wednesday.
URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FLAGSTAFF AZ 414 AM MST SAT DEC 15 2012 AZZ015-016-018-151915- /O.UPG.KFGZ.WW.Y.0010.000000T0000Z-121216T0100Z/ /O.NEW.KFGZ.WS.W.0002.121215T1114Z-121216T0100Z/ WESTERN MOGOLLON RIM-EASTERN MOGOLLON RIM-NORTHERN GILA COUNTY- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...FLAGSTAFF...WILLIAMS...MUNDS PARK... HEBER...HAPPY JACK...FOREST LAKES...PAYSON...STRAWBERRY...YOUNG 414 AM MST SAT DEC 15 2012 ...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM MST THIS EVENING ABOVE 5000 FEET... THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN FLAGSTAFF HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM MST THIS EVENING ABOVE 5000 FEET. THE WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY WAS UPGRADED TO A WINTER STORM WARNING. * TIMING...SNOW SHOWERS WILL WILL CONTINUE THROUGH THE DAY TODAY...AND BECOME HEAVIER AND MORE CONSISTENT BY LATE MORNING AND AFTERNOON. * ADDITIONAL ACCUMULATIONS...4 TO 8 INCHES ABOVE 5000 FEET...8 TO 12 INCHES ABOVE 6000 FEET. LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS OF 10 TO 14 INCHES MAY BE FOUND ALONG THE SOUTHERN EDGE OF THE MOGOLLON RIM SOUTH OF FLAGSTAFF. * IMPACTS...REDUCED VISIBILITIES AND SNOW COVERED ROADWAYS WILL MAKE TRAVEL CONDITIONS HAZARDOUS AT TIMES. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A WINTER STORM WARNING MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING...DUE TO SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW AND STRONG WINDS PRODUCING LIMITED VISIBILITIES. DRIVING WILL BE EXTREMELY DANGEROUS DURING THIS STORM. IF POSSIBLE...POSTPONE TRAVELING IN THE WARNING AREA UNTIL THIS STORM PASSES. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL TAKE EMERGENCY SUPPLIES THAT INCLUDE WINTER CLOTHING...FOOD...WATER AND A FLASHLIGHT. TELL FAMILY AND FRIENDS YOUR TRAVEL ROUTE...THE PLANNED ARRIVAL TIME AT YOUR DESTINATION...AND THE TYPE AND COLOR OF VEHICLE YOU ARE DRIVING IN CASE YOU GET STRANDED. FOR THE LATEST ROAD CONDITIONS AND CLOSURES...CALL THE ADOT FREEWAY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM AT 1 888 411 7623 OR VISIT THEIR WEB SITE AT WWW.AZ511.COM. ADDITIONAL WEATHER INFORMATION IS ON THE WEB AT WWW.WEATHER.GOV/FLAGSTAFF.