Wind chill warning active in metro Detroit: What it means

Wind chill warning active in metro Detroit: What it means

Wind chill warnings and warnings were active in southeast Michigan on Monday due to dangerously cold temperatures.

Monday, January 15 began with wind chill readings between -15 and -25 across the region. Cold winds are expected to keep temperatures below zero through the day, and again on Tuesday. See the full forecast here.

A wind chill warning was in effect Monday for Lenawee, Monroe, Washtenaw and Wayne counties. A wind chill warning was in effect for the rest of southeast Michigan. The warning and advisory are scheduled to expire at noon on Monday.

So, what exactly are wind chill advisories and advisories?

There are different types of notices issued due to inclement or dangerous weather. These warnings are intended to help warn people of any danger and inform them of expected conditions.

Below, we outline important winter weather terms to know.

Wind chill warning

A wind chill warning is issued when “extreme wind chill values ​​are expected or occur,” the NWS says.

People in an area under a wind chill warning are urged to stay indoors during the coldest parts of the day. If going out is necessary, people are urged to cover all exposed skin and wear layers of clothing.

The NWS also encourages letting someone know where you’re going and when you’ll get there.

Cold wind hour

A wind chill watch is similar to a wind chill warning. The only difference: The watch is issued when wind chill values ​​are dangerous, but not necessarily expected or occurring.

If a watch is issued, people are urged to take steps to prepare, such as adjusting plans, preparing a winter survival kit for your vehicle, and making sure your vehicle has a full tank of gas.

Wind chill warning

A wind chill warning is issued when current or forecast wind chill values ​​are seasonally cold, “but not extremely cold,” according to the National Weather Service. Under these conditions, people are urged to dress warmly and cover exposed skin when outside.

These warnings are considered less severe than a wind chill advisory or advisory.

What is a winter storm?

A winter storm occurs when there is heavy snow with falling snow, cold temperatures, wind, rain, sleet, and/or sleet. It is still a dangerous storm and could be life-threatening.

During a winter storm, the NWS says at least 8 inches of snow or more falls within 12 or more hours, or at least 6 inches or more falls between 6-9 hours.

Winter storm watch

A winter storm watch is a warning issued due to… Possibly That harsh winter weather could Speak within 48 hours. The key word in this type of warning is “watch,” as dangerous or severe weather is not necessarily imminent, but is possible.

The NWS defines significant and hazardous weather as a combination of:

  • 5 or more inches of snow and/or sleet during a 12-hour period, or 7 or more inches of snow and/or sleet in a 24-hour period; wow

  • Ice accumulation sufficient to cause damage to trees or power lines; wow

  • A life-threatening or harmful combination of accumulating snow and/or ice and wind.

Winter storm warning

The National Weather Service says a winter storm warning is issued when “a significant mix of hazardous or impending winter weather occurs.”

Again, this weather is defined as a combination of:

  • 5 or more inches of snow and/or sleet during a 12-hour period, or 7 or more inches of snow and/or sleet in a 24-hour period; wow

  • Ice accumulation sufficient to cause damage to trees or power lines; wow

  • A life-threatening or harmful combination of accumulating snow and/or ice and wind.

Click here for tips from the Red Cross on staying safe during severe winter weather.

Winter weather warning

A winter weather warning is issued when winter weather is approaching and is expected to cause a “significant inconvenience,” but is not severe enough to require a warning to be issued.

During a winter weather warning, expected precipitation includes any amount of freezing rain, or 2-4 inches of snowfall – which can be alone or in combination with sleet and sleet.

High wind warning

A high wind warning is issued when an area is expected to experience sustained winds of 40 mph or greater, with gusts of 58 mph or greater.

These strong winds can pose a danger to people and infrastructure. High winds can “cause downed trees and power lines, flying debris and collapsing buildings, which could result in power outages, disruption of transportation, damage to buildings and vehicles, and injury or death,” the NWS says.

When a high wind warning is issued, the National Weather Service says people should seek shelter. Anyone driving is urged to slow down and keep both hands on the wheel.

Monitor high winds

A high wind watch is similar to a high wind warning, especially when it comes to standards.

The only difference is that a high wind alert is issued when the following conditions are possible, but not absolutely expected or imminent:

  • Sustained winds of 40 mph or higher for an hour or more, or

  • Winds blow at 58 mph or higher for any duration.

In comparison, a high wind warning is issued when these conditions are already expected or are imminent.

What is a blizzard?

A blizzard is an intense snowstorm accompanied by strong winds and little or no visibility. This type of storm is more dangerous than normal winter storms, and usually lasts for at least a few hours.

When is a blizzard warning issued?

According to the NWS, a blizzard warning will be issued if the following conditions “occur or are expected” within the next 12 to 18 hours:

  • Snow and/or blowing snow reduces visibility to a quarter mile or less for 3 hours or more

  • Sustained winds of 35 mph or more, or frequent gusts of 35 mph or more.

Officials say there are “no temperature requirements that must be met to achieve blizzard conditions.”

During a blizzard, people are urged to stay home and avoid driving or being outside in order to stay safe.

What is an ice storm?

The NWS says an ice storm occurs when a “significant and potentially harmful” accumulation of ice occurs. Officials say this usually looks like a layer of at least a quarter-inch, but can be as much as a half-inch if winds are slower than 15 mph.

Click here to learn more about types of winter weather from NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory.


—> Winter storm arrives Friday: What metro Detroiters should know about snow and rain

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