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National Weather Service to begin issuing new type of snow warning in Michigan

Warning will cover snow squalls beginning in 2018

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DETROIT – The National Weather Service is adding a new type of snow warning in Michigan starting next year.

Effective on or about January 3, 2018, the NWS will begin to issue, on an operational basis, the highly localized, polygon-based Snow Squall Warnings.

NWS defines a snow squall as an intense, but limited duration, period of moderate to heavy snowfall, accompanied by strong, gusty surface winds and possibly lightning (generally moderate to heavy snow showers). Snow accumulation may be significant.

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"Annual highway fatalities from these events can exceed fatalities due to tornadoes in many years," the NWS said.

The new snow warning will be implemented in seven U.S. areas, including State College, Pennsylvania; Buffalo, New York; Binghamton, New York; Burlington, Vermont; Detroit; Pittsburgh and Cheyenne, Wyoming.

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Some of the above-mentioned locations near the Great Lakes are prone to lake-effect snow squalls.

If snow squall warning is issued for your area, the NWS has this advice:

  • Consider avoiding or delaying travel until the snow squall passes your location.
  • If you must travel, use extra caution and allow extra time.
  • Rapid changes in visibility and slick road conditions may lead to accidents.

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