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I Dislike And Don’t Understand The New Descriptions Of Hazardous Weather

Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Has anyone else noticed that when we get notification of hazardous weather in the Northland they aren’t using watches and warnings as much?  When I started in radio I used my voice to explain the difference between the two. Now they’ve morphed to other descriptions and I’m not comfortable with them.

By now, most adults know that if a watch is issued it means that conditions are favorable for inclement weather; however, when they issue a warning, it means that hazardous weather has progressed to the point that it is unsafe.  That is used for winter storms, tornadoes and such.

Then, winter weather advisory came out and we learned that it meant that there wasn’t necessarily an impending storm we were watching but that weather conditions would exist that would/could make travel dicey.  Lately, I’ve been receiving notifications on my smart phone that say “hazardous outlook” or “special weather statement”.  What exactly does THAT mean?  Should I anticipate bad driving conditions, a storm brewing, a storm will definitely hit the Northland?

Watches, warnings and weather advisories worked good, we knew what to expect.  Now, I’m not so sure.  Anybody???


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