WATCH Vs. WARNING - The Important Difference
The National Weather Service issues two types of advisories when it comes to flash flooding and it is very important to know the difference.
A FLASH FLOOD WATCH is issued when the potential exists for flash flooding. It is meant as a "heads up" and is usually issued over a 4 to 10 hour period. A WATCH means conditions may develop that lead to rapid rises in waters in low-lying areas, rivers, creeks, streams and poorly draining locations. In and around the Waldo Canyon Fire it also means there is potential for quickly developing mud slides and debris flows too. The issuance of a WATCH is a good time to review your safety plan should you find yourself in rising waters or mud.
A FLASH FLOOD WARNING is issued when there is flash flooding that is already occurring or is imminent. This means you should put your safety plan into place and be ready to seek higher ground at a moments notice. When this occurs we will be on the air with pertinent information as the waters rise. We'll be in contact with local, county and state officials that will be stationed in potential problem areas around the fire perimeter and will let you know about areas undergoing flooding and tracking the leading edges of the flash flood as it moves downstream.