What do flood advisories, watches and warnings mean?

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in May 2016.

The first of what could be several lines of thunderstorms might arrive in Central Texas this evening. They are likely to bring heavy rain, which, this being “flash flood alley,” means we’ll probably be hearing various advisories from the National Weather Service.

But what do those mean?

Here is a handy-dandy chart, courtesy of the Weather Service:


Basically, an advisory means watch out for slick roads and similar issues. A watch means “watch out,” as flooding is possible in spots across a wide area. A warning means there is a good chance flooding is about to happen, or is already happening.

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