Cold Weather Terms

In Leelanau County, the weather can drastically change from one minute to the next. Familiarize yourself with the following terms to help identify a winter storm hazard.

Freezing Rain:

Rain that freezes when it hits the ground, creating a coating of ice on roads, walkways, trees and power lines.


Rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes moisture on the roads to freeze and become slippery.

Winter Storm Watch:

Indicates severe winter weather conditions may affect your area in the next 12 to 48 hours, stay turned to your NOAA Weather radio or other media sources.

Blizzard Warnings:

These are issued when sustained wind guests of at least 35 miles per hour are accompanied by considerable falling and/or blowing snow, for a period of at least 3 hours. Visibility is greatly reduced to near zero during a blizzard.

Winter Weather Advisories:

These are issued when snowfalls are expected to be hazardous, but less than WARNING criteria. This generally indicated in the Lower Peninsula 4" to 5" are expected in a 12-hour period.

Frost/Freeze Warning:

Below freezing temperatures are expected.
This page last updated on 4/27/2014.