What is a snow squall warning? - WNEM TV 5

What is a snow squall warning?

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MID-MICHIGAN (WNEM) -

A new warning is about to be launched by the National Weather Service to help drivers prepare for possible snow squalls.

We've all been there in the middle of winter.

You're driving and out of nowhere a snow squall hits. Your visibility drops and you can barely see - even just a few feet in front of you.

It can be scary, and that's why this year the National Weather Service is issuing a new warning, called a snow squall warning, and it's just one more tool the NWS and the First Warn 5 weather team will use to keep you safe.

What is a snow squall warning?

A snow squall contains a brief, but intense, snowfall rates that drop visibility to a quarter mile or less, and also cause slick road conditions.

NWS will be issuing these advisories or warnings to help drivers be more aware of road conditions.

It does have to meet a few criteria:

  • A snow squall warning must meet whiteout conditions. That means visibility of a fourth-mile or less.
  • You also need subfreezing road temperatures, which will allow snow to pile up quicker.
  • A snow squall can only last 60 minutes or less.
  • To qualify, it also must cause dangerous, life-threatening travel conditions on the roadways.

Now, this new warning will go into effect January 16th, 2018 and it will be issued by the NWS in Detroit. January 16th is a new date, too, as January 3rd was the original start date. However, that original date has been delayed until the 16th. 

Stay with the First Warn 5 weather team to keep you safe and aware on the roadways this winter. 

>>I-Team Report: Winter weather preview<<

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