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Weather Definitions

Watch vs. Warning

Severe Thunderstorm Watch: A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is issued when severe thunderstorms are possible in and near the watch area. It does not mean that they will occur. It only means they are possible.

Severe thunderstorms are defined as follows:
1) Winds of 58 mph or higher AND/OR 2) Hail 1 inch in diameter or larger.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning: Determined by spotter or weather RADAR, warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property to those in the path of the storm.

Tornado Warning: A tornado has been spotted or indicated by weather radar. Tornado warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property. Go immediately under ground to a basement, storm cellar or an interior room, like a closet, hallway or bathroom.

Flood Watch: Weather conditions have or will create a risk of flooding.

Flood Warning: Flooding has or is occurring.

Flash Flood: Sudden and violent flooding after heavy rain, or dam break.

Winter Weather Advisory: Expect winter weather conditions (e.g., accumulation of snow, freezing rain, and sleet) that could cause severe inconvenience and life-threatening hazards.

Frost/Freeze Warning: Expect below freezing temperatures.

Winter Storm Watch: Be alert – a storm is likely.

Winter Storm Warning: Take action – the storm is in or entering the area.

Blizzard Warning: Seek refuge immediately! Snow and strong winds, near-zero visibility, deep snow drifts, and life threatening wind chill.

Black Ice: A thin coating of glazed ice on a surface.

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