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Winter Weather Alerts

Why they’re issued, what you should do
Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 1:57 PM CST
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QUAD CITIES, Iowa (KWQC) - Winter weather headlines help inform the public of impacts from winter storms. Three of these include the Winter Storm Watch, Winter Weather Advisory, and Winter Storm Warning.

WINTER STORM WATCH

A Winter Storm Watch is issued when the risk of a hazardous winter storm has increased with at least a 50% chance of it occurring. While this is issued, there is still time to fine tune when the winter storm will come and what it will bring.

A Winter Storm Watch is issued when conditions are possible but not imminent.
A Winter Storm Watch is issued when conditions are possible but not imminent.(KWQC)

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO UNDER A WATCH

Prepare your home by gathering supplies and making a plan for power outages.

Prepare your vehicle by securing a safety kit, cold weather gear, and kitty litter/sand in the car.

Have a plan if the forecast gets worse and start thinking of ways to reschedule plans if needed.

Check the forecast to get the latest information on the winter storm.

First comes the Winter Storm Watch, which can then be upgraded to an Advisory or a Warning.

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY is issued once time has gotten closer and they verify there is an 80% or greater probability of occurrence.

The Advisory shows that winter weather is imminent and may pose significant inconveniences. Sometimes snow has already fallen, but there are still strong winds present that bring a risk to blowing and drifting snow. In that case, a Winter Weather Advisory may be issued. There are more details on the general criteria of a Winter Weather Advisory below.

All 3 of these Winter Weather Headlines will be issued for entire counties.
All 3 of these Winter Weather Headlines will be issued for entire counties.(KWQC)

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO UNDER AN ADVISORY

Prepare for delays if you are traveling with slick roads possible.

Take extra caution if you come across reduced visibility from falling and blowing snow.

WINTER STORM WARNING

A WINTER STORM WARNING will be issued when there is enough confidence that a significant winter storm is imminent and is a danger to life and property. The higher confidence shows a greater likelihood of heavy snow, sleet or freezing rain in the area. There are more details on the general criteria of a Winter Storm Warning below.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO UNDER A WARNING

Try to reschedule any plans that involved you or others traveling.

Avoid travel if possible.

Along with the Advisory, when the winter storm comes it could bring slick/icy sidewalks, roads and bridges.

After a Winter Storm Watch has been issued, it can be upgraded to a Winter Weather Advisory or...
After a Winter Storm Watch has been issued, it can be upgraded to a Winter Weather Advisory or Winter Storm Warning.(KWQC)

Although snow will be a main concern, usually cold air and windier conditions will be a danger when stepping outside as well. This is why you need to prepare to stay indoors when heavy snow is falling and have the proper cold weather gear when you want to head outside.

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