Winter Weather Alerts: What Do They Mean

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By Justin Taylor on November 26, 2012, 2:58pm Last modified: November 26, 2012, 3:16pm

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Winter weather alerts, as issued on November 7th, 2012.

It sure feels like winter but winter does not officially start till December 21st.  Also, it looked like winter a few weeks ago on Nov 7th. The graphic I provided was on Nov 7th when the National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory (for purple shaded areas). It wasn't 'til the snow began getting worse across parts of CT the graphic went into a pink shading (indicating a winter storm warning). But when you see graphics like the image above. What do these weather alerts mean for Connecticut when winter weather threatens. Below i provided a few winter weather alerts and what they mean. 

Winter Weather Advisory -- when a low pressure system produces a combination of winter weather (snow, freezing rain, or sleet) that presents a hazard, but does not meet warning criteria.

Winter storm watch -- A significant winter weather (i.e., heavy snow, heavy sleet, significant freezing rain, or a combination of events) is expected, but not imminent, for the watch area; provides 12 to 36 hours notice of the possibility of severe winter weather.

Winter storm warning -- A significant winter storm or hazardous winter weather is occurring, imminent, or likely, and is a threat to life and property

Blizzard warning -- Winds that are at least 35 mph or greater, blowing snow that will frequently reduce visibility to 1/4 mile or less for at least three hours, and dangerous wind chills are expected in the warning area.

Understanding these watches/warnings and advisories can help you better prepare for when winter weather threatens Connecticut .

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Justin Taylor

Town: Meriden,CT  

Reporting for WXedge since March 2012.

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