Wind chill warning, watch, advisory: What’s the difference?
The combination of very cold temperatures and gusty winds will combine for dangerously frigid conditions.
With extreme cold taking hold of New Jersey this weekend, the National Weather Service has issued the following:
--A Wind Chill Warning from 6 a.m. Saturday to 1 p.m. Sunday for Sussex county.
--A Wind Chill Warning from 4 p.m. Saturday to Noon Sunday for western Passaic county.
--A Wind Chill Watch from Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning for western Bergen county.
--A Wind Chill Advisory from 4 p.m. Saturday to Noon Sunday for eastern Passaic, Hudson, eastern Bergen, Essex, and Union counties.
So what's the difference?
In general, a warning is issued when dangerous weather is expected that may endanger lives and/or property. A watch serves as an early "heads-up" of such dangerous weather. An advisory is a less urgent alert to the potential for less severe (yet still hazardous) weather.
Specifically for wind chill, the "magic number" in New Jersey is -24: A Wind Chill Warning is issued when wind chills are expected to fall below -24 degrees.
While meteorologists and climatologists do not keep detailed records of wind chills, it's pretty clear that this kind of extreme cold does not happen often in the Garden State. It is very important to take extra precautions against frostbite and hypothermia by wearing multiple layers and wearing a heavy coat, hat, and gloves.