Last year, Nebraska saw extreme snowfall and extensive flooding during the Winter. As we enter the next season, the National Weather Service is working to raise awareness for what you need to know to stay prepared.
With Winter fast approaching, the National Weather Service and we here at Local4 are trying to make sure the messages and risks with Winter weather are known.
Mike Moritz, the Warning Coordination Meteorologist, explains why these awareness days exist: "we want you to realize that Winter weather is on its way. We've had some already, we've seen colder temperatures, but we need to prepare before the storm comes."
This is also a good time to introduce a new product the NWS will be issuing this season, a "Snow Squall Warning." This can be compared to a Severe Thunderstorm Warning in its societal impact. If a band of intense, heavy snow sets up over a localized area, this can drastically change the conditions in a short time period, potentially dropping several inches of snow per hour. This is typically called a "snow squall," and can also have windy conditions as well. This is particularly hazardous for travelers.
"The Snow Squall Warning is intended to give that short-fuse idea that hey, some significant weather is coming up, it's not going to last very long, but if you're traveling especially, it could be a pretty significant impact." Moritz continued to say that if there is already a Winter Storm Warning or a Blizzard Warning, they would not issue a Snow Squall Warning on top of that, as the parameters which qualify a snow squall are warned for in the others.
These are all products you hear us use as the Local4 Weather Team. In our own forecasting process, we look at many factors and communicate that as well as the warnings in a measured manner. Sometimes, computer models we used as meteorologists will have wild solutions five or more days out, and they just aren't credible. It takes time for a forecast to come together for a realistic scenario. Chief Meteorologist Travis Klanecky says "I think it's important that on top of those changes, ahead of time making sure that if there is a change in the forecast, that we get that information out to you as accurately as possible."
Over the last year, we have made an effort to not only tell you the forecast, but also show you the weather conditions live. With Storm Chaser 4, we can go out on the roads during a winter storm and help you make that decision of going out or staying at home. "People can make an informed decision on what the road conditions are like... They can make that decision based on what we're showing in real time" says Meteorologist Tim Jones.
There are multiple ways to see our forecasts on air, on our app, and on social media, so stay informed with us through the forecast. Pay attention to the alerts sent by the National Weather Service for any hazardous weather. And have a little fun this season.
If you would like more information, follow the link below to the National Weather Service's details for Nebraska Winter Weather Awareness Day.