Winter weather glossary

Blizzard Warning: Winter storm expected with sustained or frequent winds of 35 mph or higher with considerable falling and/or blowing snow that frequently reduces visibility to 1/4 of a mile or less. Conditions are expected to prevail for a minimum of 3 hours.

Blowing Snow Advisory: Wind driven snow is reducing surface visibility. Blowing snow may be falling snow, or snow that has already accumulated.

Freezing Drizzle/Rain Advisory: Freezing rain or drizzle is forecast but a significant amount is not expected.

Heavy Snow Warning: Snowfall totaling 6 inches or more in 12 hours or less is expected. Also issued when snowfall totaling 8 inches or more in 24 hours or less is expected.

Ice Storm Warning: Damaging accumulations of ice are expected during a freezing rain event. Significant ice accumulations are 1/4 of an inch or greater.

Snow Advisory: Snowfall is expected to exceed 2 inches but not expected to exceed 5 inches. A snow advisory may also be issued for snowfalls under 2 inches if occurring at the beginning of the snow season or after a prolonged period between snowfall events.

Sleet Warning: Accumulation of sleet in excess of 1/2 inch is expected.

Wind Chill Advisory: Winds of 10 mph or greater are expected to create wind chill factors of 30 degrees below zero or more. See Wind Chill Factor.

Winter Storm Warning: Hazardous winter weather is occurring, imminent or highly likely over part or all of the area. Hazardous winter weather includes but is not limited to heavy snow, blizzards, ice storms, freezing rain or drizzle and sleet.

Winter Weather Advisory: Winter weather situations may cause significant inconvenience and could lead to life threatening situations. Issued when a combination of 5 inches or less of snow, freezing precipitation and/or sleet is expected. Also issued for a combination of light sleet and freezing precipitation.