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PROPERTY & CASUALTY
DEC 05, 2017
Understanding Your Cold Weather Forecast
For those of us that live in the cold weather states, a winter forecast can be confusing. Is there a difference between a Winter Storm Warning and a Winter Weather Advisory? Or a Blizzard Warning and Snow Squalls? Don’t worry, here at Amerisure we wanted to get to the bottom of all of these winter weather terms for you and your business.
Here’s a quick overview of the different weather forecasts and their meanings, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:
Sleet or Freezing Rain?
– Rain that freezes into ice pellets before it hits the ground. It usually bounces when it hits the ground and doesn’t stick to anything. But it can end up accumulating like snow and be a danger to motorists.
– This is rain that falls when temperatures are below freezing, creating a coating of ice on things like trees, cars and roads. Driving conditions can be hazardous.
Let it Snow
Winter Storm Outlook
– The first three terms are in sequential order. An outlook is issued three to five days before a forecasters think a storm is coming.
Winter Storm Watch
– Comes after a Winter Storm Outlook. This alerts you that a snow storm is approaching and is issued 12 to 48 hours before the storm.
Winter Storm Warning
– This alert lets you know that hazardous heavy snow, freezing rain, etc. is eminent or happening. These come after a Winter Storm Watch and are issued 12 to 24 hours ahead of time.
Winter Weather Advisory
– You’ll get this alert when there’s an accumulation of snow or freezing rain, etc. which can cause major problems and could lead to dangerous situations if caution is not heeded.
– If there are wind gusts of 35 mph or more and falling snow leads to low visibility, like ¼ mile, and conditions last longer than three hours.
– This means light snow will fall for a short time with no accumulation expected.
– A warning of short, intense snow showers with strong, gusty winds. There may be significant accumulation. These occur often in the Great Lakes area.
So, next time you tune in to your local weather report, you’ll have a better understanding of what’s coming and be able to prepare your business and employees accordingly.