Skip Navigation Linksweather.gov 
NOAA logo - Click to go to the NOAA homepage National Weather Service Forecast Office   NWS logo - Click to go to the NWS homepage
Go to NWS State College, PA Home
 

Local forecast by
"City, ST" or zip code
The week of November 10th through November 15th is
Winter Weather Awareness Week in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA)
FEMA logo
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Pennsylvania
Department of Transportation
(PENN DOT)

 
See how PENN DOT prepares for Winter Operations
and
Read PENN DOT's "Playbook" (pdf)
511pa.com is Pennsylvania's official travel information service.

American Red Cross logo
American Red Cross

 
Winter Weather Brochure (pdf file)
tab icon Sunday tab icontab icon Monday tab icontab icon Tuesday tab icontab icon Wednesday tab icontab icon Thursday tab icontab icon Friday tab icon
 

TERMS AND DEFINITIONS

 
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... 

A WINTER STORM WARNING IS ISSUED WHEN HAZARDOUS WINTER WEATHER IN 
THE FORM OF HEAVY SNOW...HEAVY FREEZING RAIN...HEAVY SLEET OR
ANY COMBINATION OF HEAVY WINTER PRECIPITATION...IS 
IMMINENT OR OCCURRING. WINTER STORM WARNINGS ARE USUALLY ISSUED 12 
TO 24 HOURS BEFORE THE EVENT IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN.

A BLIZZARD WARNING IS ISSUED FOR SUSTAINED OR GUSTY WINDS OF 35 
MPH OR MORE...AND FALLING OR BLOWING SNOW CREATING VISIBILITIES 
AT OR BELOW ONE QUARTER MILE. THESE CONDITIONS SHOULD PERSIST 
FOR AT LEAST 3 HOURS.

AN ICE STORM WARNING IS ISSUED WHEN SIGNIFICANT ICE IS EXPECTED
TO ACCUMULATE ON TREES...POWERLINES AND ROADS. AN ICE STORM IS
A VERY DANGEROUS STORM...DISRUPTING TRAFFIC...AND KNOCKING DOWN
POWERLINES. PROLONGED POWER OUTAGES CAN OCCUR LEAVING PEOPLE
WITHOUT POWER FOR UP TO A WEEK OR MORE. 

A LAKE EFFECT SNOW WARNING IS ISSUED WHEN HEAVY LAKE EFFECT SNOW IS
IMMINENT OR OCCURRING.

A WIND CHILL WARNING IS ISSUED WHEN WIND CHILL TEMPERATURES 
ARE EXPECTED TO BE HAZARDOUS TO LIFE WITHIN SEVERAL MINUTES OF 
EXPOSURE...USUALLY AT TEMPERATURES BELOW MINUS 25 DEGREES FARENHEIT. 

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... 

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IS ISSUED FOR ACCUMULATIONS OF SNOW...
FREEZING RAIN...FREEZING DRIZZLE...AND SLEET WHICH WILL CAUSE 
SIGNIFICANT INCONVENIENCES...BUT IF SUFFICIENT CAUTION IS 
EXERCISED...DO NOT USUALLY THREATEN LIFE AND PROPERTY.

A FREEZING RAIN ADVISORY IS ISSUED FOR ANY ACCUMULATION OF ICE 
FROM FREEZING RAIN OR FREEZING DRIZZLE.  IT ONLY TAKES A SMALL
AMOUNT OF ICE TO MAKE ROADS VERY TREACHEROUS.  

A LAKE EFFECT SNOW ADVISORY IS ISSUED WHEN ACCUMULATIONS OF 
LAKE EFFECT SNOW WILL CAUSE SIGNIFICANT INCONVENIENCE. 

A WIND CHILL ADVISORY IS ISSUED WHEN WIND CHILL TEMPERATURES 
ARE EXPECTED TO BE A SIGNIFICANT INCONVENIENCE TO LIFE WITH PROLONGED 
EXPOSURE...AND...IF CAUTION IS NOT EXERCISED...COULD LEAD TO 
HAZARDOUS EXPOSURE. 

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.

          

 
Local Climate, Water & Weather Topics:
Forecasts, Current Hazards, Current Conditions, Water Resources, Radar, Satellite, Climate,
Weather Safety, Wireless/PDAs, Feature Articles,

US Dept of Commerce
NOAA National Weather Service
Central Pennsylvania Weather Forecast Office
328 Innovation Blvd, Suite 330
State College, Pennsylvania 16803
(814)231-2408
Page Author: 
Page Last Modified: 28 October 2013 21:19:54 UTC
Disclaimer
 
Credits
 
Glossary
Privacy Policy
 
About Our Organization
 
Career Opportunities