By Chris Spears

DENVER (CBS4) – When wintry weather strikes this season you may see a new type of alert on your phone or favorite weather app. It will be issued by the National Weather Service to warn about potential hazards caused by snow and wind.

It’s called a Snow Squall Warning and it will work much like a Severe Thunderstorm or Tornado Warning does during the warm season. They are designed to alert small areas, such as a part of a county, about the weather hazard for 30-60 minutes at a time.

Traffic on I-70 (credit: CBS)

Snow squalls are quick bursts of intense snow accompanied by strong, gusty winds. They’re typically short-lived, lasting less than three hours and they are most common during the day.

A crash on I-70 in Summit County (credit: Summit County Sheriff’s Office)

A snow squall can rapidly reduce the visibility and create treacherous driving conditions that lead to chain-reaction accidents. Last winter the National Weather Service office in Cheyenne tested this new product successfully and it was rolled out nationwide this year.

Chris Spears


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