Regional Warning, Watch, and Advisory Criteria
The State College NWS Office will issue Advisories and Warnings for situations where the following is expected:
Winter PrecipitationStatements for these hazards will be issued under the header "PHLWSWCTP (WWUS41 KCTP)."
Note: There are changes to the thresholds/criteria for a few counties starting with the 2015-16 season. CHECK THIS LINK FOR THE SPECIFICS.
For (Mainly) Snow Threats:
Severe Thunderstorm RISK Terminology
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM or TORNADO WATCH Severe thunderstorms with large hail, damaging winds, and/or tornadoes are possible, but the exact time and location of storm development is still uncertain. A watch means be prepared for storms.
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING A severe thunderstorm is imminent or occurring; it is either detected by weather radar or reported by storm spotters. A severe thunderstorm is one that produces winds 58 mph or stronger and/or hail 1 inch in diameter or larger. A warning means to take shelter.
TORNADO WARNING A tornado is imminent or occurring; it is either detected by weather radar or reported by storm spotters. A warning means to take shelter.
FLOOD WATCH Conditions are favorable for flash flooding. A watch means to get prepared for possible flooding.
FLASH FLOOD WARNING Life-threatening flooding is imminent or occurring; it is either detected by weather radar, indicated by stream gauges, or reported by storm spotters. A flash flood is a flood that occurs very quickly; it is caused by heavy rainfall over a short period of time or from a dam break. A warning means to leave low-lying or flood prone areas.
Non Precipitation Phenomena Warning Terminology
The State College NWS Office will issue Advisories and Warnings under the header "PHLNPWCTP (WWUS71 KCTP)" for situations where the following non-precipitation phenomena are expected :
Winds NOT associated with a specific Thunderstorm:
Widespread Frosts/Freezes, after the beginning (and before the end) of the "growing season":
For High Heat Indicies:
For Widespread Dense Fog:
Fire Weather Products
The State College NWS Office will issue these two Fire Weather related products under the header "PHLRFWCTP (WWUS81 KCTP)" for situations when the following criteria are met: