12/15/17 – The National Weather Service has changed some of its winter weather advisory notifications. Meteorologist-In-Charge Ben Schott met with local emergency responders and other stakeholders in Juneau yesterday as part of an annual outreach effort in the coverage area for the weather services Milwaukee-Sullivan office. Schott outlined changes being undertaken this year as part of an effort to simplify the advisories that his office issues during severe weather events.
While there will continue to be Blizzard Warnings, there will no longer be Blizzard Watches issued. Instead, possible blizzards will now be part of the Winter Storm Watch category as in a Winter Storm Watch for Blizzard Conditions. In addition, a Freezing Rain Advisory will now be referred to as a Winter Weather Advisory for Freezing Rain. That will join pre-existing terminology including a Winter Storm Advisory for Snow and a Winter Storm Advisory For Sleet.
Schott says the actual criteria used to determine if an advisory, watch and warning is issued is not changing. However, he notes that the weather service is trying to be more proactive about issuing for impact and less about the exact amount of snow because two-or-three inches of snow at rush hour could have a more significant impact that two-or-three inches overnight. The changes target advisories, not warnings meaning this winter there will continue to be the same terminology that had always been used for warnings. That includes: not only Blizzard Warnings but also Ice Storm Warnings, Winter Storm Warnings and Wind Chill Warnings which, again, all remain unchanged.
Pictured left to right: Dodge County Emergency Management Director Amy Nehls and Meteorologist Dan Schott