This weather blog is the first in a series I will write this week to update you on some changes that the National Weather Service will be making in the coming days. These changes impact you, so we want to pass it on to our viewers.
For decades, the NWS has used Watches, Warnings, and Advisories to alert us to the hazards that will be, or are already, impacting a region of the country. Recently, the agency conducted a survey to find ways to make the alert system less confusing.
Due to the feedback, the NWS has decided to simplify and consolidate its winter weather products. This is what you can expect to see in the upcoming winter season from 3 News Now, a Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador.
When a Winter Storm Watch is issued, it means "potentially significant" winter weather will occur in a matter of hours or days, including ice, sleet, heavy snow and blowing snow.
Meanwhile, a Winter Weather Advisory means minor inconveniences are expected.
A Winter Storm Warning, Blizzard Warning or Ice Storm Warning is issued when snow, sleet and ice accumulation is expected to cause significant impact to life or property.
The biggest changes that I see have come in the form of product consolidation. Certain watches, warnings and advisories have been dropped, including Blizzard Watch and Freezing Rain Advisories. Those will be incorporated into other notifications.
It might seem a bit early to discuss winter weather, but as you know, weather conditions can and do change quickly.