CBS6Albany.com: Winter Storm Advisories
 
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Definitions
 
Winter Storm Watch (Northeast Region Definition)
Issued by local National Weather Service Forecast offices when severe winter conditions including a seven inch or greater snowfall in a twenty four hour period and/or significant icing of 1/2" or more, and/or significant sleet are POSSIBLE within 12 to 36 hours. Winter storm watches are issued for counties and are your first alert to the potential of a major winter storm. (Winter storm watch criteria varies across the country)
 
Winter Storm Warning (Northeast Region Definition)
Issued by local National Weather Service Forecast offices for individual counties or parts of counties when severe winter conditions are EXPECTED. Winter Storm warnings cover snow storms that are expected to drop a seven inch or greater snowfall in a twenty four hour period or a combination of heavy snow, freezing rain and/or sleet that will cause significant disruption to daily activities and travel. (Winter storm warning criteria varies across the country)
 
Blizzard Warning
Issued by local National Weather Service Forecast offices for individual counties or parts of counties when a major winter storm producing sustained winds or frequent gusts of 35 mph or greater, considerable falling and/or blowing snow reducing visibility frequently to 1/4 mile or less for a period of three hours or more is IMMINENT or OCCURRING. (Note: there are no temperature criteria in the definition of a blizzard but freezing temperatures and 35 mph winds will create sub-zero wind chills producing particularly severe conditions.)
 
Ice Storm Warning
Issued by local National Weather Service Forecast offices for individual counties or parts of counties when a significant period of freezing rain is EXPECTED or OCCURRING resulting in ice accretions of 1/2" or greater . Ice storms rank as potentially winter's most destructive and deadly storms resulting in extensive damage to trees and utilities resulting in widespread long duration power outages.
 
Winter Weather Advisory
Issued by local National Weather Service Forecast offices for individual counties or parts of counties when a combination of winter precipitation types (snow, sleet and/or freezing rain) are expected to cause significant inconvenience and may be hazardous.
 
Lake Effect Snow Warning
Issued by local National Weather Service Forecast offices for individual counties or parts of counties when snow induced by cold air flowing over the Great Lakes, accumulating to seven inches or greater, is IMMINENT or OCCURRING.