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Winter watches and warnings

Posted Sunday, January 9, 2011

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Chatham County, NC - Winter storm watches, warnings, and advisories are issued by local National Weather Service Forecast offices. Below are the descriptions of the various watches and warnings you may encounter during the winter months.

Winter weather advisory -- When a significant winter storm or hazardous winter weather is occurring, imminent, and is an inconvenience.

Winter storm watch -- A significant winter weather (i.e., heavy snow, heavy sleet, significant freezing rain, or a combination of events) is expected, but not imminent, for the watch area; provides 12 to 36 hours notice of the possibility of severe winter weather.

Winter storm warning -- A significant winter storm or hazardous winter weather is occurring, imminent, or likely, and is a threat to life and property.

Blizzard warning -- Winds that are at least 35 mph or greater, blowing snow that will frequently reduce visibility to 1/4 mile or less for at least three hours, and dangerous wind chills are expected in the warning area.

Wind chill index -- The calculation of temperature that takes into consideration the effects of wind and temperature on the human body. This is not the actual air temperature, but what it feels like to the average person. This wind chill chart shows the difference between actual air temperature and perceived temperature, and the amount of time until frostbite occurs.

 
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