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Wireless Emergency Alerts, or W.E.A., are text message like alerts sent straight to your phone based on your geographic locations for a number of possibilities that could impact you or your property. Most commonly, they are used for severe weather, but they are designed to carry a number of different types of alerts.

One alert not seen in Central Illinois is a WEA for “Snow Squall Warnings.” The National Weather Service issues Snow Squall Warnings much like they would severe thunderstorm or tornado warnings. A polygon covering an impacted region where the NWS highlights a snow squall may cause hazardous weather, usually in the next 30 to 60 minutes.

A Snow Squall is an intense short-lived burst of heavy snowfall that leads to a quick reduction in visibility and is often accompanied by gusty winds. Some have called them micro-blizzards because of the high impact nature in such a localized area a snow squall can have. These warnings are particularly issued and are important for transportation interests. Sudden whiteout conditions and slick roadways can lead to high speed accidents with large pileups that result in injuries and fatalities. This new type of warning first was made in 2018 to distinguish a small localized high impact snow event as opposed to a winter storm.


via News |

January 14, 2021 at 03:12PM

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