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Watch. Warning. Advisory. Meteorologists often use these terms to let us know that winter storms are on the horizon, but their meanings are not interchangeable. Here’s a brief summary.
Winter Storm Outlook: Winter storm conditions are possible in the next two to five days.
Winter Weather Advisory: Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life threatening.
Winter Storm Watch: Winter storm conditions are possible within the next 36 to 48 hours. People in a watch area should review their winter storm plans and stay informed about weather conditions.
Winter Storm Warning: Life-threatening, severe winter conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours. People in a warning area should take precautions immediately.