MORAINE, OH (WDTN) — With winter weather arriving, it’s important to know the difference between watches and warnings.

Winter Storm watches are issued when weather conditions are favorable for a life-threatening event, but timing and location is still not known. A Winter Storm Warning is issued when a serious winter storm is imminent, and travel could become difficult to impossible.

Snow Squall warnings were implemented in the winter of 2018-2019 . They are confined to a small area and are short in duration, generally lasting 30-60 minutes. Snow Squalls produce heavy snowfall in a short time, with under a ¼ mile visibility and makes travel nearly impossible.

Logan Clark, National Weather Service Wilmington Meteorologist said, “As soon as you get the whiteout conditions that go along with it, very reduced visibilities, it’s going to be very hard to see in front of you, and so your ability to react and respond is just going to be much more inhibited with those conditions lining up the way that they do with snow squalls.

Snow Squall warnings, just like tornado warnings are sent to your phone. Since being implemented this has allowed the National Weather Service to potentially save lives in these localized bands.

Clark said, “They have a long history of deadly traffic accidents. So being able to send out that additional wireless emergency alert to the public is definitely one of the ways that we are trying to convey the message of, again, hey, this is a really potentially dangerous situation.”

You should avoid traveling until the snow squalls pass. If you are in one, turn your headlights on, slow down, and never slam on the brakes.