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New Criteria for Winter Watches and Warnings

There are new criteria on how the National Weather Service will issue winter weather watches and warnings this year.

Posted: Nov 15, 2019 6:29 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - While there aren't many new watches or warnings coming out this winter weather season, how they are issued will be changing a little.

For example, in the past, they would issue an advisory because there wasn't enough snow falling to warrant issuing a watch or a warning.

Now, depending on things like time of day, or the number of people impacted, that will play a much bigger role in what product is issued.

Mike Ryan works for the National Weather Service in Indianapolis.

He says they now consider more factors than just the type of weather that's happening.

"You know, let's say we're getting less amount of snow that might now trigger an advisory, but it's falling at morning rush hour. Well, that's gonna have a greater impact, so we might be more apt to issue that product, or even issue a warning depending on the degree of the impacts."

Now the criteria on which these will be issued is changing.

There is also one new warning coming out this year that you may remember from last year.

The Snow Squall Warning.

It wasn't issued last year, but it will be this winter season.

Mike says the easiest way to explain a snow squall, is like a thunderstorm.

Think of a pop-up thunderstorm during the hot summer months.

The same things happen here, but with cold and snow.

"It's gonna be for those events where we have the squall type snowfalls where you're driving along and it goes from no visibility restrictions, to suddenly you can't see more than 100, 200 feet in front of you, and the roads get very slippery, very fast."

Mike says these will not be issued much, but we have a good chance to see them right here in the Wabash Valley.

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