Here are some terms which the national weather service uses to describe winter weather as well as the definitions of watches, warnings and advisories issued for winter weather events. A hazardous weather outlook is issued prior to a winter storm watch. The outlook is issued when forecasters believe winter storm conditions are possible. Outlooks are usually issued 3 to 5 days in advance of a winter storm.

In general a winter storm watch alerts the public to the possibility of heavy snow, heavy freezing rain, or heavy sleet. Winter storm watches are usually issued 24 to 72 hours before the beginning of a winter storm. These events may occur separately or in combination. A blizzard watch is issued when blizzard conditions are possible in 24 to 72 hours.

Since watches are issued well in advance of the storm, there will be times when the storm does not materialize, so they may be canceled.

On the other hand, a warning is issued when hazardous winter weather is imminent or has already begun. It is issued for conditions which pose a threat to life and property.

The following are the warning headlines issued for winter weather events...

An advisory is issued for less serious weather conditions. Specific advisories will alert you to weather that would have a significant effect on motorists, outdoor activities, or public events.

The following are the advisory headlines issued for winter weather events...

If you need timely information, you can get it on NOAA weather radio all hazards. We broadcast twenty four hours a day across all of Pennsylvania.

Weather radio monitors are inexpensive and guarantee you the latest weather whenever you have the need. Our broadcasts will help you plan for outdoor activities, get travel information, make business decisions, or decide on the proper clothing to wear. Most importantly, you will be ready when a winter storm strikes.

We issue frequent updates during active winter weather, that serve to give you the most up to the minute, and detailed weather information available. In addition, we issue statements that follow up on the issuance of watches, warnings, or advisories.