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What is a Winter Weather Advisory and why should it be taken seriously?

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At this time, a winter weather advisory is in effect for the Tennessee Valley. It sounds different from a winter storm watch or warning, but it’s something to not take lightly.

There are particular precipitation criteria that must be met in order for the national weather service to issue a winter storm warning. There are times when a weather situation has the potential to cause significant inconvenience, but does not meet the criteria.

For example, a winter storm warning would be issued if sleet or snowfall accumulation is forecast to exceed 2 inches within 12 hours, or if a quarter of an inch or greater amount of freezing rain is expected.

Friday’s forecast does call for snow, but at a lower amount than required for a winter storm. With that said, the potential for impacts is present, especially if caution is not exercised while traveling. For that reason, a winter weather advisory is issued. In this case, we are expecting an inch or two of snow to fall within a span of 12 hours.

Keep in mind that a winter weather advisory is considered to be an “upgrade” to a winter storm watch. The flow goes from winter storm watch, to winter weather advisory, to winter storm warning.