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Know your winter weather terms

ATLANTA – Meteorologists from Team 2 from Team 2 urge residents to keep abreast of local predictions and warnings and become familiar with key climate terminology.

Winter Storm Warning: Issued when a dangerous winter weather in the form of heavy snow, heavy freezing rain or heavy sleet is imminent or is occurring. Winter storm warnings are usually issued 12 to 24 hours before the event begins.

Winter Storm Surveillance: Alerts the public about the possibility of a blizzard, heavy snow, heavy freezing rain or heavy snow. Winter storm watches are usually issued 12 to 48 hours before the start of a winter storm.

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Winter Storm Perspective: Published before a winter storm clock. The Outlook is given when forecasters believe that winter storm conditions are possible and are usually issued 3 to 5 days before a winter storm.

Blizzard Warning: Issued by sustained or gusty winds of 35 mph or more, and falling or blowing snow creating visibilities less than ¼ mile; These conditions must persist for at least three hours.

Lake Effect Snow Warning: Issued when the heavy lake effect is imminent or snow is occurring.

Lake Effect Snow Advisory: Issued when lake effect snow accumulates will cause significant inconvenience.

Wind chill warning: Issued when cooling temperatures are life-threatening within a few minutes of exposure.

Wind chill warning: Issued when cooling temperatures are expected to be a significant drawback to life with prolonged exposure and, if not exercised, could result in hazardous exposure.

Winter weather advisories: Issued for accumulations of snow, freezing rain, freezing drizzle and sleet that will cause significant inconvenience and, if not exercised with caution, could result in life-threatening situations.

Dense fog warning: Issued when fog will reduce visibility to ¼ mile or less over a large area.

Snow flurries: Light snow that falls during short periods. Accumulation or light powder is not expected.

Snowfall: Snow falling at different intensities for short periods of time. It can accumulate something.

Snow Squalls: Short, intense snowfalls accompanied by strong and gusty winds. The accumulation can be significant. Snow flurries are best known in the Great Lakes region.

Blowing snow: Snow driven by the wind that reduces visibility and causes significant drift. The snow that blows may be snow that is falling and / or loose snow on the ground picked up by the wind.

Sleet: Raindrops that freeze in ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet generally bounces when it hits a surface and does not adhere to objects. However, it can accumulate like snow and cause a danger to motorists.

Freezing rain: Rain falling on a surface with a temperature below freezing. This causes it to freeze on surfaces, such as trees, cars and roads, forming a coating or glaze of ice. Even small accumulations of ice can cause a significant danger.

Information from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution was used in this report.

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