NWS Local Rain/Snow Reports

NOUS41 KBGM 231205

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Binghamton NY
800 AM EDT Tue Apr 23 2019

Severe Weather Awareness Week continues in Pennsylvania.

Today we will discuss what classifies a thunderstorm as
severe, and the difference between a severe thunderstorm watch
and a warning. We will also give you information on what
to do when a watch or warning is issued.

What is a severe thunderstorm?

A severe thunderstorm is a thunderstorm that produces
sustained wind or wind gusts of 58 miles an hour or greater,
and/or hail of one inch in diameter or larger. Hailstones at the
size of one inch in diameter, are the size of a quarter. Severe
thunderstorms are often accompanied by torrential downpours and
frequent cloud-to-ground lightning. Some severe storms can produce
tornadoes with little or no advance warning. Severe thunderstorms
can produce the same amount of damage as a weak tornado and are
often mistaken for one.

What is a severe thunderstorm watch?

A severe thunderstorm watch means that atmospheric conditions
are favorable for severe thunderstorms to develop and are expected
within the next six hours. A watch is issued to alert you and your
family that damaging winds, large hail and even an isolated tornado
are possible. A watch does not mean severe weather is occurring.
Severe thunderstorms watches can cover one or more states and can
last for several hours at a time.

What should you do when a severe thunderstorm watch is

Go about your normal activities, but watch the sky around you
for developing storms. Periodically check your NOAA weather radio,
cell phone for radar updates, TV, radio, or cell phone apps for
updates to keep you weather aware. Always know which county you
live in, and which ones borders your community. If you are on
vacation, or driving through an unfamiliar area, keep a map on hand
and know your location at all times in case danger arises. Newer
cell phones are equipped with Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA).
WEA are emergency messages sent by authorized government alerting
authorities through your mobile carrier. Government partners
include: FEMA, FCC, Department of Homeland Security and the NWS.
WEA will allow you to receive extreme weather warnings, local
evacuations, AMBER alerts and Presidential alerts during a
national emergency. Always have a plan on how to get to a safe
place quickly if a warning is issued for your area.

What is a severe thunderstorm warning?

A severe thunderstorm warning means a severe thunderstorm is going
to move through your location soon. You need to take quick action
to protect yourself, your family and your property. severe
thunderstorm warnings are issued by the NWS when Doppler Radar
weather radar has detected a severe thunderstorm, or when one has
been reported by a trained weather spotter, a county emergency
official, a law official, or a trusted report from the public.
A warning is issued on average for 30 to 60 minutes.

What do you do when a severe thunderstorm warning is issued?

If caught outdoors, get inside a strong structure that has
plumbing or electricity, or a car. If there is no building nearby,
your best protection is in a ditch. Boaters should head to
shore immediately. Remember, when thunder roars, go indoors! When
you get inside a sturdy building, go into an interior room on the
lowest level. Stay away from windows and doors. Do not use any
electrical appliances.

If you happen to be driving and you become caught in a severe
thunderstorm, immediately pull over to the side of the road
until the storm passes. Heavy rain with any thunderstorm can
flood roads quickly. Never try to drive through an area where
water covers the road, even if you think the water is shallow.
The water may sweep your vehicle away. Turn around don`t drown!

Weather topics for the remainder of the week will be as follows:

Wednesday April 24...Flooding.
Thursday April 25..Severe Weather Terms and Definitions.
Friday April 26...Severe Weather Preparedness and Safety.

For more information on weather hazards and Severe Weather
Awareness Week...please visit:

http://www.weather.gov/bgm (all lower case)


Mitchell Gaines
National Weather Service Binghamton, NY

NWS BGM Office Area Rain and Snow Reports