Stay Informed and Understand Terminology

Understand the National Weather Service terms and know the difference between a winter storm and blizzard watches and warnings.

  • A winter storm watch is a message indicating a winter storm is possible in your area.
  • A winter storm warning indicates a winter storm is occurring or will soon occur in your area and could threaten life and property.
  • A winter weather advisory means winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous, especially to motorists.
  • A frost/freeze warning means below freezing temperatures are expected.
  • Ice storms usually bring heavy accumulations of ice that can bring down trees, electrical wires, telephone poles and lines and communication towers. Communications and power can be disrupted for days while the utility companies work to repair the extensive damage.
  • A blizzard warning means sustained winds or frequent gusts to 35 mph or greater and considerable falling or blowing snow is expected to prevail for a period of three hours or longer. This is a very dangerous situation, especially for those travelling.
Depend on your NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio, along with local radio and television stations, for weather reports.