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General Winter Weather Forecast Terms (NWS-FW)
Outlook (prepare): 
  • Issued 3 to 5 days before the onset of potential significant winter weather (snow, freezing rain, extreme cold)
  • Issued as a Special Weather Statement (SPS) and/or mentioned in the Hazardous Weather Outlook (HWO)
  • Highlights the potential for significant winter weather
  • Geared towards helping individuals and decision makers plan for hazardous winter weather

Watch (prepare):
  • Issued 36-48 hours before the onset of significant winter weather (can be issued earlier when there is high confidence)
  • Specifies locations impacted, timing and event severity
  • Signifies an increase in forecaster confidence that significant winter weather is expected to occur

Advisory (take action):
  • Issued 0-36 hours before the onset of hazardous winter weather
  • Hazardous conditions will occur, but amounts are not expected to reach warning criteria. Impacts are expected!
  • Note: An Advisory is NOT a downgrade from a Warning

Warning (take action):
  • Issued 0-36 hours before onset of significant hazardous winter weather.
  • Winter weather with significant impacts is expected!


North Texas Winter Weather Product Guide (NWS-FW)
Winter Storm Warning (most likely to be released):
  1. Snow Accumulation > 4in. and/or Freezing Rain Accumulation > 1/4 in. and/or Sleet Accumulation > 1/2 in. in 12 hours
  2. Snow Accumulation ≥ 6 in. and/or Freezing Rain Accumulation ≥ 1/4 in. and/or Sleet Accumulation ≥ 1/2 in. in 24 hours

Ice Storm Warning:
Freezing Rain Accumulation ≥ 1/4 in. (Freezing Rain Exclusively)

Blizzard Warning:
Sustained Winds or Frequent Gusts ≥ 35 MPH accompanied by falling and/or blowing snow with reduced visibility of ≤ 1/4 mile for 3 or more hours



Winter Weather Advisory:
  1. Sleet Accumulation < 1/2 in. and/or Snow Accumulation < 4 in. and/or Freezing Rain or Freezing Drizzle Accumulation < 1/4 in.
  2. Blowing/Drifting snow with visibility near 1/4 mile & winds < 35 MPH

Freezing Rain Advisory:
Freezing Rain or Freezing Drizzle Accumulation < 1/4 in. (Freezing Rain or Freezing Drizzle Exclusively)

Wind Chill Advisory:
Wind Chill Temperatures < 0



Winter Storm Watch:
Moderate to High Confidence that Warning Criteria will be met

Blizzard Watch:
Moderate to High Confidence that Warning Criteria will be met Note: A Warning may be issued for Advisory-level accumulations if impacts are expected to be significant (e.g., during morning/evening rush hour or busy travel days)



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