A new type of National Weather Service (NWS) warning, snow squall warning, began being used nationwide this year. NWS forecasters say this will be used to warn of expected short-lived bursts of heavy snowfall resulting in a rapid onset of near zero visibilities and slick roads. Snow squalls are often accompanied by gusty winds and have an intensity similar to short-term blizzard conditions.
Snow squalls typically occur during the day and last 30 to 60 minutes in length. This is different from snow storms which can last for several hours or even days. Snow squall warnings are issued for small areas where the localized weather event is expected, similar to tornado or thunderstorm warnings.
Drivers should avoid areas with active snow squall warnings by taking alternate routes or delaying travel. There is an increase in risk of chain reaction collisions where snow squalls are occurring due to reduced visibility and treacherous road conditions. If unable to avoid, drivers should be prepared for rapidly changing road conditions, reduce their speed and use low-beam headlights.
MyFerndaleNews.com is providing this information in its role as a official Weather-Ready Nation ambassador. WRN ambassadors help keep local communities informed to reduce the risk of being adversely impacted by extreme weather and water events.