For our viewing area a Winter Storm Advisory or Watch is issued when the conditions are favorable for hazardous winter weather to occur.
The difference between an advisory and watch is timing.
Advisories are often issued 36 hours before the storm is expected to arrive.
Watches are usually issued in the 36 to 6 hours prior to a storms arrival.
Winter Storm Warnings are issued when the storm seems likely and is within 6 hours of arrival.
The criteria for a Winter Storm vary across the country.