Also known as a Twister, a Tornado is a spinning column of air that reaches the ground. This is different from a Funnel Cloud, which is the same as a tornado but has not touched ground.

Red Flag Warning

A Red Flag Warning is a term used by fire-weather forecasters to call attention to limited weather conditions that may result in extreme burning conditions. Red Flag criteria occurs whenever a geographical area has been in a dry spell for a week or two, or for a shorter period , if before spring green-up or after fall color, and the National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS) is high to extreme.

Red Flag Warning is issued during an on-going fire event or when the fire weather forecaster has a high degree of confidence that Red Flag criteria will occur within 24 hours.

Fire Weather Watch

A Fire Weather Watch is issued when conditions are forecast to be favorable for a Red Flag Warning. This means that there could be low relative humidity and warm temperatures.


RADAR stands for Radio Detection and Ranging.  Radar uses radio waves that reflect off of objects to determine the distance to an object by the strength of the returning signal.  In weather terms, Radar is used to measure distance, speed and direction of precipitation.

Acid Rain

Acid Rain contains high levels of chemical contaminants that are released into the atmosphere. This type of rain is harmful to the environment.


A Tsunami is a large destructive wave that starts because of an earthquake, landslide, or volcanic eruption on the ocean’s floor.


Blizzard conditions exist when a snow storm contains high winds (greater than 35 mph), large amounts of snowfall or blowing snow, and very cold temperatures.

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