Weather Class - Headlines

Weather Class Definitiions

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH


DEFINITION: A watch is issued when the potential exists for severe thunderstorms.

Conditions are favorable for the development of thunderstorms, with hail, high winds,

and heavy rains, in and close to the watch area.


TORNADO WATCH


DEFINITION: This watch means that conditions exist for the development of

tornadoes in and close to the watch area. Hail is also a possibility. It does not mean

that tornadoes will occur. This watch also means that conditions are favorable for

severe thunderstorms to form. It is possible that a few storms may be capable of

producing a tornado.


FLASH FLOOD WATCH


DEFINITION: Conditions are favorable for flash flooding. Any additional rain could lead

to flash flooding.


FLOOD WATCH


DEFINITION: Conditions are favorable for river flooding. This is usually issued for major

rivers like the Ohio and Kentucky.


WINTER STORM WATCH


DEFINITION: A winter storm watch is issued to inform the public of the possibility of one

or a combination of the following events: blizzard conditions, heavy snow or significant and

damaging accumulations of freezing rain or sleet. A winter storm watch is normally issued

12 to 48 hours in advance.


Warnings


SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING


DEFINITION: A warning means that a severe thunderstorm has been reported by storm

spotters or indicated on radar. It indicates imminent danger to life and property to those in

the path of the storm. As a result of a severe thunderstorm warning, a tornado

watch/warning or flash flood watch/warning could be issued.


A severe thunderstorm is any storm that produces one or more of the following:

1. A tornado

2. Damaging winds or winds measured at 50 knots (approximately 58 MPH) or more

3. Hail three-quarters (3/4) of an inch in diameter or larger.


TORNADO WARNING


DEFINITION: A tornado has been sighted by spotters or indicated on radar. This means

people should seek shelter below ground or in a ground level interior room, away from

outside walls. Tornado wind speed increases with altitude; so being on a lower level is

imperative.


FLASH FLOOD WARNING


DEFINITION: A flash flood warning is issued when flash flooding has been reported or is

imminent. Water may be covering roadways and some roads could be washed away.


FLOOD WARNING


DEFINITION: A flood warning is issued when river flooding has been reported or is

imminent. This is usually issued for major rivers like the Ohio and Kanawha.


WINTER STORM WARNING


DEFINITION: A winter storm warning is issued when heavy snow, or a mixture of heavy

snow, freezing drizzle or sleet is occurring, is imminent or is very likely. A Winter Storm

Warning is generally issued 0-6 hours in advance.


ICE STORM WARNING


DEFINITION: An ice storm warning may be issued instead of a winter storm warning

when the only winter weather expected is significant ice accumulation from freezing rain.

Ice storms can be devastating to a community and should be covered around the clock.


BLIZZARD WARNING


DEFINITION: Blizzard warning is issued when blizzard conditions are expected to last for

three hours or more. A blizzard happens when sustained winds or gusts of 35 mph or

greater and considerable falling and or blowing snow create visibility to less than onequarter

mile.


FROST/FREEZE WARNING


DEFINITION: Frost/freeze warnings are issued when below freezing temperatures are

expected during the growing season and may cause significant damage to plants and crops.


WIND CHILL WARNING


DEFINITION: A Wind Chill Warning is issued when wind chills are expected to be 35 below

zero or colder.



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