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What is “Areal” Flooding? No, We Didn’t Misspell it

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Online FOX40 viewers may think there is a misprint on our weather banner, alerting people to “areal flood watch”, but “areal” is an official term used by the National Weather Service.

The term “areal” is used to clarify that the watch or warning being issued will affect a large area like a whole county or region, as opposed to localized impacts.

For example, according to the NWS, a flood warning means main rivers and major creeks “are expected to reach or exceed flood stage at specific sites”. However, an areal flood warning means creeks and rivers “are expected to flood or remain in flood after six hours and there is a threat to life or property and possible evacuations”.

In the case of this week, the areal flood warning will affect regions stretching from San Joaquin County to northern Shasta County.

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