NewsMorning News


Winter weather watch vs. advisory, what to know for tonight’s snow

Posted at 6:34 AM, Jan 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-11 06:34:30-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — It’s the time of year for winter weather and the subsequent warnings and advisories that go along with the season.

Monday morning the National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory for most West Michigan counties.

The advisory comes as a clipper system is set to bring two to four inches of snow to the area. The system will impact the lake-shore with higher accumulations expected there than areas further inland. Two to four inches of snow is forecast to fall overnight Monday and throughout the day on Tuesday.

Winter weather lingo can be tricky to understand so here is a guide:

WINTER WEATHER  ADVISORY: Hazardous winter weather is on the way. An advisory can also be used when the weather is actually occurring. Used for less serious conditions that may threaten life or property if caution is not taken. Advisories are shown in light purple.

Guidelines for winter weather advisories:

  • Sleet, snow, freezing rain or a combination is expected in the next 12 to 36 hours
  • Snow: 2 – 5 inches
  • Ice: Less than 1/2 inch

WINTER STORM WARNING: Dangerous winter weather is on the way or occurring. Conditions pose a threat to life or property. Warnings are shown in pink.

Guidelines for winter storm advisories:

  • Heavy sleet, heavy snow, an ice storm or a combination is expected in the next 12 to 36 hours
  • Snow: 5 – 8 inches
  • Ice: 1/2 or more

The map below shows the counties the winter weather advisory has been issued for.

Monday advisory

For more information on advisories and warnings check out the National Weather Service winter terminology page.