The Different Types of Weather Alerts
You have likely received storm alerts before, but are you fully aware of what each alert means? In order to take proper precaution in the event of a thunderstorm, tornado, or hurricane, it is important to understand what each alert means and how to remain safe during the events.
A Flash Flood Warning is issued by the United States National Weather Service when a flash flood is imminent or occurring in the warned area. A flash flood is a sudden, violent flood after a heavy rain, or occasionally after a dam break. Rainfall intensity and duration, topography, soil conditions, and ground cover contribute to flash flooding. A Flash Flood Watch is issues when a flash flood occurs.
In the event of a severe storm, there are multiple alerts the National Weather Service may issue. A Dense Fog Advisory alert communicates that for two or more hours, fog will cover a large area with visibility reduced to ¼ mile or less. Fog may sound harmless, but it often arrives in thick layers, making it very difficult for drivers. In fact, fog was the cause of a devastating 99-car pile up in Bradley County in 1990. You should take the warnings very seriously.
A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is issued when there is a possibility of high winds combined with thunderstorms or hail at least an inch in diameter. Once these conditions are present or imminent the alert will move to a Severe Thunderstorm Warning. It is important to remember the difference between the two, as a thunderstorm watch serves as a warning to secure items around your home and seek shelter.
A Tornado Watch is intended to prepare yourself, your family, and your belongings because tornadoes are possible in and near the watch area. Be ready to act quickly if a warning is issued or you suspect a tornado is approaching. A Tornado Warning means totake action immediately. In the event that a warning is issues, a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. There is imminent danger to life and property, and you must move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building.
Normally, a watch will indicate that a weather condition is possible, while a warning indicates that said weather condition is occurring or is imminent. Knowing this differentiation makes other weather alerts clearer as well.
These advance warnings provide time to prepare for weather events. Be aware of the signs and seek shelter when it is needed. As always, we are Here to Help in the event of a loss. Our storm team travels across the U.S to assist those who have lost their homes in natural disasters.