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Winter Storms

Winter Weather Criteria

Term Definition
Winter Storm Watch Conditions are favorable for a winter storm event (Snow, Sleet, or Ice (Freezing Rain), or a combination of events) to meet or exceed Winter Storm Warning, Ice Storm Warning or Blizzard Warning Criteria in the next 12 to 48 hours.
Winter Storm Warning Any of the following:

Snow and/or sleet: At least 2" in 12 hours and/or 3” in 24 hours 

Ice (freezing rain): accretion of at least 1/4 inch within 24 hours or less

Combination of winter weather is expected to pose a threat to life and property.

Ice Storm Warning Freezing rain is the only predominant type of wintry precipitation and is expected to accumulate to ¼ inch or greater during a period of 24 hours or less.
Winter Weather Advisory Any of the following:

Snow and/or sleet: 1 to 2" in 12 hours

Ice (freezing rain): accretion of a trace up to a 1/4 inch in 24 hours or less

Combination of winter weather is expected to cause “significant inconvenience” and  warrant extra caution.
Blizzard Warning Sustained winds or frequent gusts of at least 35 mph accompanied by falling and/or blowing snow frequently reducing visibility to < 1/4 mile for 3 or more hours.