What does a winter storm warning mean? - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

What does a winter storm warning mean?

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With the advent of the first significant winter storm of the young season forecast this Sunday, it's time to review the winter weather alerts used by the National Weather Service.

According to the NWS, a Winter Storm Warning is issued "when a winter storm is producing or is forecast to produce heavy snow or significant ice accumulations." 

That differs from a Winter Storm Watch which is issued when "there is the potential for heavy snow or significant ice accumulations, usually at least 24 to 36 hours in advance."

A Winter Weather Advisory is issued "when a low pressure system produces a combination of winter weather (snow, freezing rain, sleet, etc.) that present a hazard, but does not meet warning criteria."

In our case for the weekend, a Winter Storm Warning is in effect for Price, Ashland and Iron Counties for Sunday.  A Winter Storm Watch will be active Sunday for Marathon, Lincoln, Langlade, Vilas, Oneida, Forest, Florence and Clark Counties.  The watches and warning are due to expire Sunday evening.

Areas outside of the counties under a watch or warning should still prepare for snow on Sunday with the winter storm.  Higher accumulations are being forecast in areas northwest of Wausau, Wis. 

Stay tuned to Newsline 9, waow.com/weather and our "WAOW Newsline 9" Facebook page for continuing updates on the track of the storm and snowfall projections as the system develops. 

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