We've heard of winter storm watches and warnings, as well as blizzard watches and warnings but the National Weather Service now has a new winter warning that could affect Minnesota.

ThinkStock

When it comes to Old Man Winter, we're rather proud of how hearty we are here in Minnesota, right? We scoff at how cities elsewhere in the country completely shut down when they get just a few inches of snow.

Not us, though. We're experts at winter. Heck, this is the Bold North-- we're used to winter storm warnings and, sometimes, even blizzard warnings. But have you ever heard of a snow squall warning? Well, we just might see it in our forecast sometime this winter.

According to the National Weather Service, snow squalls are "intense but limited-duration periods of moderate to heavy snowfall, accompanied by gusty surface winds resulting in reduced visibility and whiteout conditions."

And, the new snow squall warning could be issued for the first time in Minnesota this winter. The NWS had been testing the new warning in selected locations last winter, but any NWS office-- including offices here in Minnesota and Wisconsin-- are now able to issue the new snow squall warnings. They're kind of like a tornado, severe thunderstorm or flash flood warning because they will only cover a small area, typically only a few counties, and last for an hour or less.

The NWS says snow squalls have been blamed on several major highway crashes in the last few years, thanks to their brief but intense snowfall rates that drop visibility and quickly make roads and highways slippery.

If a snow squall warning is issued for our area this winter season, the NWS says to avoid or delay any travel until the squall passes through our location-- which should take less than an hour.