Blog - Winter Advisory
Winter Advisory

The outside temperature readout in my car began blinking – it’s dropping to 38°F and below…


According to Google this safety feature is to alert the driver (me) that the conditions outside my car are approaching conditions non-ideal to support human life.

Blog - Winter Advisory

Being prepared becomes second nature, so it seems ludicrous to me that the weather forecasts all come with a type of designation, like we cannot figure out for ourselves that 38° and below means freezing temperatures and thus why the season is called winter!

Having lived most of my life in “White Christmas” regions – there will always be snow for Christmas (and many months before and after!)

     We learned as toddlers what to watch for and what the weather patterns would bring. Snowstorms can arrive during any month of the year, not just the winter, so it is vital to be prepared. Local citizens keep equipment in their vehicles to weather out getting stuck in a blizzard and then buried by a passing snowplow if they don’t get shoveled out in time.

     Fashion sense is usually overlooked for warmth and practicality. Wearing flip-flop and shorts during the winter season can designate a rebelliously defiant local (best case because they know what winter means) or a tourist lacking any common sense (worst case because they have never experienced winter). All the White Christmas regions are spoken of by the locals as God’s Country, meaning it’s the best there is. Come to think about it, I didn’t hear that reference when living on the sunny beaches… hmmm!?!

According to the National Weather Service there are eight categories for weather. Winter/Cold Weather has the most options of all the categories, coming in at ten! (Fog/Wind/Severe came in with nine.) The options are designated as Advisory, Watch, and Warning. These designations sound ominous, so how do we know what is a weather report and which we should pay attention to?

Here’s how the NWS designations break down:

  • Advisory is a bit of snow that may accumulate a couple inches or less and present an inconvenience.

  • Watch is the potential for some snow within 48 hours.

  • Warning is either expected snow within 12 to 18 hours or it is snowing outside right now.

To my way of thinking, these options basically mean the same thing – it is going to snow!

     When I reviewed the specifications for each designation, I found that there are multiple conditions that may or may not happen at each level, but I do not have time to stop and read each designation specification when it appears on my phone. I would rather receive a quick picture that explains that it will snow, how much, and for how long, and when it will start.

Blog - Winter Advisory

Do we need a designation with each forecast?

Share your feedback on what the best weather app is.

2 thoughts on “Winter Advisory”

  1. I don’t know if the weather is predicted with perfect accuracy anywhere. Being a snow plow guy, Tony watches it like a hawk and often the predictions are wrong. Being prepared and just enjoying the white fluff like a little child is the best plan 😉 I use the weather channel app and it does exactly what I need.
    “ Wearing flip-flop and shorts during the winter season can designate a rebelliously defiant local” this made me laugh 😂
    Thank you for the lovely post ❤️

  2. Thanks Terynn for the feedback! Predicting the weather accurately does need work! This last week of forecasted 30°+ temperatures that didn’t come was a disappointment. 🙁
    The Valley in January historically never reaches those temperatures without rain (I was born during the January thaw – it was raining at 5:20am in downtown Afton!)
    If it’s bright and sunny without a little wind, we have inversions which trap the cold (or like yesterday the fog) down here on the Valley floor for us to venture into…these are the days where snowmobiling in the mountains is warm and bright because you are able to get above the inversion ceiling. I didn’t get to go snowmobiling, but a trip up Dry Creek got me above the cold, dark fog and I was able to bask in the sun light for a bit – was much needed!
    I loved your comment about being able to enjoy the white fluff like a child – it brought back many carefree memories that raised my spirits above the gloom!

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