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WeatherTalk: New this winter: Snow Squall Warnings


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The National Weather Service has a new type of warning which could show up this winter. It's called the "Snow Squall Warning." People who live in our region are familiar with the term blizzard, when wind of near or greater than 35 mph combines with snowfall and/or windblown snow to produce very low visibility for at least three hours, and sometimes two or three days, over a large area. On occasion, a very localized snow shower will produce these same conditions but over a much smaller area and for a much shorter time, perhaps a few minutes to an hour.

Snow squalls are especially dangerous to drivers because they can develop quickly and catch people on the road with little warning. Pile-ups of dozens of wrecked cars and trucks have been known to occur. These "Snow Squall Warnings" will be handled in a way similar to Severe Thunderstorm Warnings are in summer. However, the issuance of them is likely to be somewhat rare.

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