Weather Matters with Matthews (10/31/21): National Weather Service Flood Products

Weather Wisdom

Hello and welcome to another episode of “Weather Matters with Matthews.” The National Weather Service has issued a lot of Flood Products for the Twin Tiers in the past few days. These products include Areal and Flash Flooding as well as Flood Warnings, Watches, and Advisories, but what is the difference between all of these products?

Let’s start with Areal Flooding:
Areal Flooding is issued for flooding that develops gradually over time, usually more than six hours after long periods of moderate to heavy rainfall. This can result in gradual buildup of water in flood prone areas, as well as creeks and streams.

Flash Flooding:
Flash Flooding is issued for flooding that develops more quickly, normally within six hours of heavy or intense rainfall. Both areal and flash flooding can pose risks to life and/or property if issued as either a watch or warning.

Flood Watch:
You may remember from one of my previous episodes that a watch is issued to inform the public that there is a potential for severe weather threats. It does not mean that the severe weather threat will definitely happen, but people within the watch area should still remain informed and take action when necessary. This is exactly what a Flood or Flash Flood Watch tells us, and that is to take necessary action in case a major flood risk happens.

Flood Warning:
A Flash or Areal Flood Warning is issued to inform the public that flooding is in progress. This is when the public is advised to take immediate action if within the area of the warning. There is also a River Flood Warning, which is issued when a river is forecast to go above its flood stage at the time of the forecast.

Flood Advisory:
A Flood Advisory is issued when minor flooding that is not considered a significant threat to life or property is expected. This is basically flooding that is a nuisance to travel, such as flooding in low-lying areas as well as minor flooding of streets and roadways.

For more information on weather products and alerts, check out the National Weather Service’s website!

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