Friday, February 1, 2013

This is your Warning to Watch for an Advisory!

This is Buffalo. We know about winter storms, and we're quite familiar with the fun of lake effect snow. Like how the grass is still green at my house in Tonawanda, but there's enough snow to close some schools in the southern tier. But sometimes, even with our vast experience, the weather forecast can be a bit confusing. Take this morning, for example. Depending on where in Western New York you live, you may be under a Lake Effect Snow Warning, a Lake Effect Snow Advisory, or a Lake Effect Snow Watch. Pop quiz--do you know the difference?? Okay, you're not being graded on this, so go ahead and check out the answers below the picture:
Photo courtesy:
  • Winter Storm Outlook - Winter storm conditions are possible in the next 2 to 5 days.
  • Winter Weather Advisory - Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life threatening.
  • Winter Storm Watch - Winter storm conditions are possible within the next 36 to 48 hours. People in a watch area should review their winter storm plans and stay informed about weather conditions.
  • Winter Storm Warning - Life-threatening, severe winter conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours. People in a warning area should take precautions immediately.
Alright, so these refer to generic "winter storms", not lake effect snow. And us WNYers don't normally consider 4-6" of snow to be "life threatening". Still, when you add high winds and low visibility to the snow and ice, the roads become dangerous, power outages can occur, and it really can be a dangerous situation. So whether you're in an Advisory, Watch or Warning, follow these tips to make sure you're ready to ride out the storm safely!

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