Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Portland, ME

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NOUS41 KGYX 301011

610 AM EDT MON APR 30 2018

The National Weather Service has declared the week of April 30
through May 4th, SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK in New England.  This
is the first in a series of five Public Information Statements on
various topics related to severe weather awareness.

During Severe Weather Awareness Week, the National Weather Service
encourages the public to become more aware of the threats associated
with thunderstorms, so they can act appropriately when severe storms


New England will soon be transitioning from late spring-like weather
to a more summer-like weather pattern.  With the warmer weather
comes an increasing threat of thunderstorms.  By definition, every
thunderstorm contains lightning and is, therefore, a potentially
deadly storm. In addition, certain thunderstorms present other
threats, as well.  These threats include high winds, hail,
tornadoes, and flash flooding.

The National Weather Service uses a WATCH and WARNING program to
alert the public to potentially threatening weather.  In the
summertime, watches and warnings are issued for severe
thunderstorms, tornadoes, and flash flooding, and special marine
warnings are issued for gusty winds in marine areas.  Here are some
basic definitions.

A WATCH indicates that the atmospheric conditions are favorable for
severe weather to develop.

     If a WATCH has been issued for your area, keep an eye on the
     sky, and monitor NOAA Weather Radio or your local broadcast
     media for any possible warnings.

A WARNING indicates that severe weather is imminent or is already

     If a WARNING has been issued for your area, be prepared to seek
     a safe shelter if you are in the path of the storm.

Here are some basic definitions of the events for which WATCHES and
WARNINGS are issued.

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM - A thunderstorm that produces damaging wind
                      gusts of 58 mph or more, and/or hail 1 inch or
                      greater in diameter.

TORNADO - A violently rotating column of air that extends from the
          cloud to the ground.

FLASH FLOOD - Flooding that occurs very rapidly, usually due to
              very heavy rain from a slow moving thunderstorm or a
              series of thunderstorms moving across the same area.

In addition to these warnings which are issued for land areas, the
National Weather Service issues Special Marine Warnings for marine

SPECIAL MARINE WARNING - Issued for marine areas for storms with
                         frequent wind gusts of 34 kts (about 39
                         mph) or greater.

One of the best ways to monitor these conditions is by purchasing an
alert-activated NOAA Weather Radio for your home or business.  If
you are within the broadcast range of a NOAA Weather Radio
transmitter, tone activated NOAA Weather radios can be set to
automatically turn on when a Severe Thunderstorm, Tornado, or Flash
Flood Warning has been issued by the National Weather Service.  In
addition, alert-activated weather radios can be programmed to
activate only if the warning has been issued for the county(ies)
that you are interested in.  For more information on purchasing a
NOAA Weather Radio, contact the National Weather Service.  NOAA
Weather Radios can often be purchased at stores that sell small
electronic equipment.

Finally, if you are caught in a severe thunderstorm or tornado, know
what to do to minimize the risk that you or someone with you could
be killed or seriously injured from the storm.  And, after the
storm, be sure to report storm damage to local law enforcement
agencies and ask them to relay the information to the National
Weather Service.

Here is a list of the other topics that will be covered in Public
Information Statements issued by the National Weather Service this

Tuesday.....Thunderstorms and Lightning
Wednesday...Severe Thunderstorms - Downbursts, Microbursts,
            and Hail
Friday......Flash Floods


National Weather Service
Gray, Maine

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