HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — It's important to be prepared and know the differences between the two more common watches and warnings associated with severe weather.
What's the difference between a "watch" and a "warning?
The difference between a watch and a warning is that one (watch) is the potential for a weather event to happen and the other (warning) means that the event is happpening.
A Flash Flood Watch is very similar to a Severe Thunderstorm or Tornado Watch It means conditions are favorable for flooding and you should be prepared especially if you live in an area that is prone to flooding.
A Flash Flood Warning means flooding is nearing or it is currently happening and immediate and appropriate action should be taken.
It's also important to remember that Flash Flooding is a rapid rise in water. It is defined by the NWS as "A rapid and extreme flow of high water into a normally dry area, or a rapid water level rise in a stream or creek above a predetermined flood level, beginning within six hours of the causative event."
Remember, it takes very little water to wash a person away. Only about 6.0 inches. Just 12 inches of water can wash a standard-size SUV or car away. 18 inches of water can wash larger vehicles such as full-size trucks and larger SUVs away.
There are things we can do in order to prepare ahead of the rain that we know could lead to flooding:
- Always just simply be aware of whether you live or work in an area that is prone to flooding.
- Always check with your insurance for proper coverage.
- Clear the storm drains around your home. While this may not technically be your job it can potentially save a lot of fuss.
- Always have electronic devices charged. This applies to any sort of dangerous weather.