SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Have you been interrupted by a buzzing sound from your phone this winter?
That’s the sound alerting you of dangerous weather ahead.
Sudden whiteouts don’t occur that often across all of Central New York, but definitely are more common north of Syracuse, due to lake effect snow.
These mini, brief blizzards, better known as squalls, can be very hazardous if one moves in while you are driving.
That precisely is why the National Weather Service issues snow squall warnings.
According to Dave Nicosia, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Binghamton, a study done over a 20-year period showed that over 800 people were killed on the highways due to sudden snow squalls.
In that same 20-year period just under 100 people were killed in tornadoes.
It was one particular snow squall that helped spark the development of these warnings. That happened in 2004.
Support from the private sector, weather forecasting companies and the media has played a big role in the issuing of snow squall warnings.
When you hear a buzz from your phone, if you are driving or about to head out, read it over as soon as you can and be sure to head the warnings so you don’t become a statistic on the highway.