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Author Topic: New NWS Warning Type - Snow Squall Warning  (Read 582 times)

Pink Jazz

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New NWS Warning Type - Snow Squall Warning
« on: November 30, 2017, 12:28:56 PM »

https://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2017/11/01/warnings-deadly-weather-hazard-snow-squalls-coming-winter/818248001/

Starting in January, seven NWS offices will start issuing Snow Squall Warnings, and by next winter they will go nationwide.  Like Tornado, Severe Thunderstorm, and Flash Flood Warnings, Snow Squall Warnings will be a short-fused warning type.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: New NWS Warning Type - Snow Squall Warning
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2017, 12:35:08 PM »

https://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2017/11/01/warnings-deadly-weather-hazard-snow-squalls-coming-winter/818248001/

Starting in January, seven NWS offices will start issuing Snow Squall Warnings, and by next winter they will go nationwide.  Like Tornado, Severe Thunderstorm, and Flash Flood Warnings, they won't matter to most people, and thus will be ignored.

Fixed.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: New NWS Warning Type - Snow Squall Warning
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2017, 01:08:12 PM »

Why not just have “white out” warning since more people would likely know what that actually meant over snow squall.

Pink Jazz

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Re: New NWS Warning Type - Snow Squall Warning
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2017, 02:06:12 PM »

https://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2017/11/01/warnings-deadly-weather-hazard-snow-squalls-coming-winter/818248001/

Starting in January, seven NWS offices will start issuing Snow Squall Warnings, and by next winter they will go nationwide.  Like Tornado, Severe Thunderstorm, and Flash Flood Warnings, they won't matter to most people, and thus will be ignored.

Fixed.

I agree about Severe Thunderstorm Warnings, but Tornado Warnings (and Flash Flood Warnings to a lesser extent) are taken more seriously.  In fact the NWS knows people don't take Severe Thunderstorm Warnings seriously that they didn't include them in Wireless Emergency Alerts.

Why not just have “white out” warning since more people would likely know what that actually meant over snow squall.

That might be confused with Blizzard Warnings, which are not short fused warnings.  Snow Squall Warnings are not a replacement for Blizzard Warnings, the latter which occur over a longer period of time.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2017, 02:12:57 PM by Pink Jazz »
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Re: New NWS Warning Type - Snow Squall Warning
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2017, 02:13:06 PM »

Why did they change the meaning of "tornado warning" anyway? It used to mean that a tornado has been spotted. However, that is not the current definition, so it must have changed.
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SP Cook

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Re: New NWS Warning Type - Snow Squall Warning
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2017, 02:36:28 PM »

Depending on where one lives, and by that I mean both what part of the country and what part of the county, the degree of note one takes in various NWS warnings will vary.  Personally, I have lived where a flash flood warning was life and death, and I have lived where it is meh. 
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Pink Jazz

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Re: New NWS Warning Type - Snow Squall Warning
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2017, 02:44:57 PM »

Depending on where one lives, and by that I mean both what part of the country and what part of the county, the degree of note one takes in various NWS warnings will vary.  Personally, I have lived where a flash flood warning was life and death, and I have lived where it is meh.

Here in the Phoenix area we rarely ever get Tornado Warnings.  During monsoon season, what we are actually known for are our Dust Storm Warnings, although Severe Thunderstorm and Flash Flood Warnings are also common.
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Re: New NWS Warning Type - Snow Squall Warning
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2017, 02:51:05 PM »

We’re planning on a lot of snow here in Indy. Would be useful to have them here, even though they are a rare event here.
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ET21

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Re: New NWS Warning Type - Snow Squall Warning
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2017, 03:54:56 PM »

I'm not sure how good this will go. If anything this would be useful for lake effect snow events, but not a general snowstorm where winter storm or blizzard warnings would work much better. Luckily a majority of the test offices are in areas prone to heavy LES events, so hopefully they can help improve the technology to then apply on a larger system scale instead of the mesoscale sized LES.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: New NWS Warning Type - Snow Squall Warning
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2017, 04:03:02 PM »

https://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2017/11/01/warnings-deadly-weather-hazard-snow-squalls-coming-winter/818248001/

Starting in January, seven NWS offices will start issuing Snow Squall Warnings, and by next winter they will go nationwide.  Like Tornado, Severe Thunderstorm, and Flash Flood Warnings, they won't matter to most people, and thus will be ignored.

Fixed.

I agree about Severe Thunderstorm Warnings, but Tornado Warnings (and Flash Flood Warnings to a lesser extent) are taken more seriously.  In fact the NWS knows people don't take Severe Thunderstorm Warnings seriously that they didn't include them in Wireless Emergency Alerts.

They probably are taken more seriously in places like the Midwest and central areas, but in other areas where they blast them, the tornados are generally weak and don't last very long. 

In my area, with hundreds of thousands of people locally, and a few million people spread out over a news' coverage area, most of those people in a watch/warning area won't see the tornado.  Which is why a lot of people stop taking them seriously. 

In the Midwest, where there's fewer people and larger tornados, the percentage of those that may experience it or closely experience it in the warning area is dramatically increased.

Snow squalls are pretty much the same way:  They are going to affect limited areas.  Telling 2 million people there's going to be a chance of a snowsquall, with a few thousand being affected, doesn't help this crying wolf effect.
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JMoses24

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Re: New NWS Warning Type - Snow Squall Warning
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2017, 11:24:11 PM »

Why did they change the meaning of "tornado warning" anyway? It used to mean that a tornado has been spotted. However, that is not the current definition, so it must have changed.

They didn't remove a tornado sighting as a justification. Rather, they added radar indicated tornadoes as a secondary basis. With the new dual polarization radar, a product called Correlation Coefficient was introduced. Lower values on the correlation coefficient indicate different sizes of objects being detected. A minimum on that product, located near or over an area of high reflectivity (that is, a lot of energy coming back to the radar) AND a velocity couplet (outbound and inbound velocities indicated to be right next to each other) indicates the presence of airborne tornado debris and, frequently, a tornado that is still on the ground. Of course, this debris isn't detected until after the tornado has hit something.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2017, 11:26:18 PM by JMoses24 »
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paulthemapguy

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Re: New NWS Warning Type - Snow Squall Warning
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2017, 09:16:27 PM »

This is a good idea.  On radar, you'll just see a big blob of snowfall, and it can be sometimes difficult to distinguish the particularly heavy and dangerous spots within the blob.  Not all snowfall rates are equal!  I like the idea of a more localized warning to distinguish the very heavy rate of snowfall.  I figure it will function similarly to a flash flood warning in terms of its issuance and areal coverage, but with snow obviously instead of rain.  And the seriousness of the warning will coincide with the seriousness of the conditions in each individual circumstance...There isn't going to be a catch-all expectation with these, just as not all tornado warnings are "TORNADO EMERGENCIES"
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