Flash Flood Watch vs Warning

Flash Flood: Turn around Don't Drown

What is a Flash Flood?

A flood which follows within a few hours (usually less than 6 hours) of heavy or excessive rainfall, dam or levee failure, or the sudden release of water impounded by an ice jam. This is a dangerous situation that threatens lives and property.

What is a Flash Flood Warning?

This warning signifies a short duration of intense flooding of counties, communities, streams, or urban areas with high peak rate of flow. Flash floods may result from such things as torrential downpours, dam breaks, or ice jam breaks. They are issued by the local National Weather Service Office for 4 hours or less. Since flash flooding can occur in severe thunderstorms, this type of warning can be combined with either a Tornado Warning or a Severe Thunderstorm Warning.

What is a Flash Flood Watch?

This product is issued by the local National Weather Service office (NWFO) for events that have the potential for short duration (usually less than 6 hours) intense flooding of counties, communities, streams or areas for which the occurrence is neither certain nor imminent. This watch indicates that flash flooding is a possibility in or close to the watch area. Those in the affected area are urged to be ready to take action if a Flash Flood Warning is issued or flooding is observed. A Flash Flood Watch may be issued for potential flooding from either dam breaks, ice jam breaks, or torrential downpours.

You can get more Flash Flood tips right here from ready.gov

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