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Photo: Petr Jilek (Shutterstock) Although it already feels as though this winter has stretched on forever, technically we’re less than one month into the season. And while some parts of the country have been slammed by winter storms already, others have mostly experienced relatively mild weather so far. But it’s only a matter of time before we’re alerted to an incoming winter storm, and it’s best to be prepared. Like summer weather , winter storm terminology is full of terms and concepts we’ve heard of before, but that we may not be entirely sure of what they entail—stuff like the difference between a snow shower and snow squall, or sleet and an ice storm. And, of course, there’s the Nor’easter—something we all pretend to understand, but in reality, we only know that it’s bad. Well, the pretending ends now. Here’s a breakdown of some common winter weather terms, as well as some background on other winter safety issues, straight from a meteorologist at the National Weather Service. Common winter storm terms Let’s start out with some terms and concepts essential for understanding winter weather: Winter storm watches, warnings, and advisories Like summer storms, there are different terms used for the varying severity of potential winter weather conditions : Winter Weather Advisory : light amounts of wintery weather is expected. Winter Storm Watch : medium confidence that there will be a storm that could produce snow, sleet and/or ice, with the possibility of significant impacts. Winter Storm Warning: high confidence […]