Winter Weather Advisory Terms

The following advisories will be used to ALERT the public of situations that may cause some inconvenience or difficulty to travelers or people who must be outdoors.

PRODUCT Description
BLOWING/DRIFTING SNOW ADVISORY Used when wind-driven snow intermittently reduces visibility to 1/4 mile or less. Travel may be hampered. Strong winds create blowing snow by picking up old or new snow.
FREEZING RAIN or FREEZING DRIZZLE ADVISORY Generally used only during times when the intensity of freezing rain or drizzle is light and ice accumulations are less than 1/4 inch.
SLEET ADVISORY Issued for expected sleet accumulations of less than 1/2 inch.
SNOW ADVISORY Used when snowfall amounts are below warning criteria, but nonetheless pose a hazard to the public. Issued for average snowfall amounts of less than 4" in a 12 hour period. Forecast amounts would be 1-2", 1-3", 2-4", or around 3".
WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY Used when a mixture of precipitation is expected such as snow, sleet, and freezing rain or freezing drizzle, but will not reach warning criteria.
SHORT TERM FORECAST (NOWCAST) A short term forecast designed to give specific, detailed forecast information for the next 1 to 6 hours on a county-by-county basis. Non-severe and advisory information are contained in these forecasts which are routinely issued several times per day, and more often during busy weather periods. is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.