BISMARCK — It’s the newest tool the National Weather Service is rolling out this winter to keep you safe, Snow Squall Warnings.
They’ll work just like a Severe Thunderstorm or Tornado Warning — in that, a push alert will be sent to your phone notifying you of the warning.
The weather service said the warnings will be short-lived and focused on specific, distinct areas just like thunderstorm warnings in the summer.
Snow Squalls are defined as short periods of very heavy snow that produce white-out conditions and falling temperatures that produce icy roads in just a few minutes and can lead to massive vehicle pile-ups.
The Weather Service told KX News while they will be rare here in Bismarck, those who are traveling east need to be familiar with the new warning.
“Especially along more populated areas, along intestates where you get these snow squalls moving through, Pennsylvania, New York State, you get folks coming into the snow squall — they’re blinded basically, so they hit their brakes, and then the person behind them runs into them from behind and you end up with tremendous pile-ups on interstates,” said John Paul Martin with the National Weather Service in Bismarck.
He said in North Dakota, the Red River Valley is the most at risk for snow squalls, with one coming off Lake Sakakawea every now and then.