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DENVER (KDVR) — The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for Denver on Wednesday ahead of a snowstorm. Wednesday is a Pinpoint Weather Alert Day.

But what exactly is a winter storm warning?

“Winter storm warnings are issued for a significant winter weather event including snow, ice, sleet or blowing snow or a combination of these hazards. Travel will become difficult or impossible in some situations. Delay your travel plans until conditions improve,” the NWS said.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said a winter storm warning is issued for the following conditions:

  • Heavy snow of at least 6 inches in 12 hours, or at least 8 inches in 24 hours, is expected
  • It can also be issued if sleet accumulation will be at least half an inch

You may have noticed that the National Weather Service will also issue winter storm watches and winter weather advisories. Here are the main differences between them, according to NWS:

  • Winter Weather Advisory:  The NWS said advisories are issued when snow, blowing snow, ice, sleet, or a combination of these wintry elements is expected but conditions should not be hazardous enough to meet warning criteria. Be prepared for winter driving conditions and possible travel difficulties. Use caution when driving.
  • Winter Storm Watch: The NWS said watches are issued when conditions are favorable for a significant winter storm event (heavy sleet, heavy snow, ice storm, heavy snow and blowing snow or a combination of events.)

Here are tools that can help you stay prepared for any type of weather:

The Pinpoint Weather Team will continue to update the forecast multiple times each day. Be sure to download the free Pinpoint Weather App to stay up-to-date with the newest data as it comes in.