Winter storm watch, warnings defined by specific NWS criteria

Winter storm watch, warnings defined by specific NWS criteria

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A winter storm warning has been issued for most of Northeast Ohio ahead of the potentially major weekend winter storm. But what’s the difference between a watch and a warning?

According to the National Weather Service, the winter 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:

  • 6 inches or more of snow within a 12-hour period.
  • 8 inches or more of snow within a 24-hour period.
  • 1/4 inch or more of ice accumulation.

New this winter, the National Weather Service has stopped issuing lake effect snow warnings. Instead, snow squall warnings will be issued.

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

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