A statement produced by the local National Weather Service offices to provide information regarding the potential of significant weather expected during the next week. This is issued to advise storm spotters and emergency managers of potentially hazardous weather and other threatening conditions.
Short Term Forecast
Issued by the National Weather Service as a 1-2 hour forecast of local weather conditions; emphasizing hazardous weather.
Severe Thunderstorm Watch
Issued by the Storm Prediction Center to alert the public that conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms in and close to the watch area. These watches are issued with information concerning the watch area and the length of time they are in effect. During the watch, people should review severe thunderstorm safety rules and be prepared to move a place of safety if threatening weather approaches.
Severe Thunderstorm Warning
Issued by local National Weather Service offices to warn the public that a severe thunderstorm has been sighted by storm spotters or has been indicated by radar. People in the affected area should seek safe shelter immediately.
In the United States, there are an estimated 25 million lightning flashes each year. In an average year, Florida sees around 1.4 million of these lightning strikes. This makes Florida the "Lightning Capital of the United States.
Even if it is not raining where you are, lightning can still reach you. Lightning can travel as far as 10 miles away from its thunderstorm, and has been observed as far as 25 miles away. This is why the best thing you can do when you see lightning is seek safe shelter as soon as possible.
Issued to alert the public that conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes in and close to the watch area. These watches are issued with information concerning the watch area and the length of time they are in effect.
Issued by local NWS offices to warn the public that a tornado has been sighted by storm spotters or has been indicated by radar. These warnings are issued with information concerning where the tornado is presently located and what communities are in the anticipated path of the tornado.