Weekend Feature: Saying goodbye! Why we’ll never see another Blizzard Watch or Freezing Rain Advisory.

In an effort to support a “Weather Ready Nation” the National Weather Service surveyed the public and other partners in relation to the effectiveness of several winter hazard notification products. The results of these surveys have led to some simplification of a few Winter Weather Advisory products, two of which we typically see issued in our region a couple of times a season.

Two types of advisories will be consolidated into one simple advisory message. We’ll no longer see a Blizzard Watch or Freezing Rain Advisory issued for our area. Instead, they will be issued under the traditional Winter Storm Watch and Winter Weather Advisory headlines respectively. The National Weather Service feels the consolidation will bring a more refined look and a clearer message when it comes to communicating winter hazard impacts. In addition to combining these products, future hazard bulletins will also include more detailed information on what areas will be impacted, what hazards are expected, and when they are expected to arrive, similar to the format that we currently see in the severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings.

More changes are expected to more products in the near future, with flooding products currently under review along with temperature extremes and wind hazards. Look for these changes to roll out in the spring of 2018.

Andrew Stutzke was born and raised in beautiful Sterling, Illinois. As a young child, he was continually fascinated by the weather, especially thunderstorms. Often times he could be found glued to the television watching The Weather Channel. Upon entering high school it was clear what his area of study would be once he started college. After graduating from Sterling High School in 2004, he attended Sauk Valley Community College in Dixon, Illinois where he received his Associate of Science degree in 2010. In 2016 he received his B.S. in Meteorology from Northern Illinois University.

Andrew is currently the Friday and Saturday evening meteorologist at WIFR-TV in Rockford, IL.

In his spare time, Andrew enjoys listening to the latest Alt-Rock and Indie music, storm spotting, walking the many paths around the area, and spending time with family.