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      Are there more weather advisories now than ever before?

      When a big winter storm is brewing, you can bet winter weather advisories are sure to follow. But what do they really mean and are there more now then ever before?

      "In the past, you know, it was always a blizzard warning or something like that, but now it seems that the forecast is for two or three inches of snow, and we've got a winter weather advisory out, and I think it's overplayed quite a bit," said Orville Dishno, Marquette resident.

      Inside the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Negaunee, meteorologist Matt Zika said that is not the case.

      "When we go through a couple of years where we don't have a whole lot of snow or really active winters and then we go through a six-week period, like we've had here recently where it seems like it's either snowing every other day or it gets really cold for a while, the perception would be, oh wow! You guys are issuing off a lot more watches and warnings than you have in the past," said Zika.

      The weather service uses a Watch, Warning, Advisory program to help get the word out when hazardous weather occurs.

      "Several days before a storm, we'll probably put out some sort of an outlook there may be a big storm later on this week," Zika said.

      If there is a 50 percent certainty a few days before the storm, a watch is issued to raise awareness.

      "Once it becomes pretty certain that that storm is going to impact us in the next day or so, we'll usually issue a winter storm warning or a winter weather advisory," Zika said.

      With Smartphones offering the latest forecast on the hour every hour, weather apps may also be a factor in the heightened awareness of weather advisories. The NWS said weather advisories are put in effect to alert people and keep them safe.