What's the difference between a winter storm watch and a warning - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

What's the difference between a winter storm watch and a warning?

(Source: AP Images) (Source: AP Images)
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

A winter storm watch has been issued for parts of Northeast Ohio beginning Friday afternoon, but what warrants a winter storm warning?


The best and worst case scenarios for Friday's storm


According to the National Weather Service, the advisories are defined by specific criteria.

  • A winter storm watch is issued when there is the potential for significant and hazardous winter weather within 48 hours. The watch does not mean that the winter weather is certain. It only means it is possible
  • A winter storm warning is issued when a significant combination of hazardous winter weather is occurring or imminent. Cleveland's thresholds are:

1) 6 inches or more of snow within a 12-hour period.

2) 8 inches or more of snow within a 24-hour period.

3) 1/4 inch or more of ice accumulation.

Additional winter weather alerts include a blizzard warning, ice storm warning, and a winter weather advisory. Visit the National Weather Service for more information.

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