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Product Definitions


7-day Zone Forecast
A county-by-county forecast written in plain text for the next 7 days. Includes any long-term watches, warnings, and advisories.
Area Forecast Matrices
A spatially-averaged forecast for the next 7 days in matrix format.
Point Forecast Matrices
A point forecast for the next 7 days in matrix format for selected cities.
Short Term Forecast
An overview of weather trends during the next 1 to 6 hours. Normally issued only when precipitation or hazardous weather is occurring.
Area Forecast Discussion
A technical discussion of the meteorological reasoning behind the forecast.
Hazardous Weather Outlook
Used for communicating the potential for hazardous weather, and preparedness for spotter activation.
Winter Weather Product
Provides watches, warnings, and advisories for winter precipitation events.
Non-Precipitation Product
Provides watches, warnings, or advisories issued for a wide variety of hazardous weather phenomena, such as high winds, dense fog, extreme heat, or low wind chills.
Tornado Warning
Issued when a tornado is imminent or occurring, based on radar or visual sightings. Typically issued for single counties or a small group of adjacent counties for 15 to 45 minutes in duration.
Severe Thunderstorm Warning
Issued when a severe thunderstorm is imminent or occurring. Typically issued for single counties or a small group of adjacent counties for 15 to 60 minutes in duration.
Flash Flood Warning
Issued when flash flooding, caused by heavy rainfall rates or a dambreak, is imminent or occurring. Typically issued for single counties or a small group of adjacent counties for 2 to 6 hours in duration.
Flood Warning
Issued for any high flow, overflow, or inundation of normally dry areas which threatens life and/or property. It is usually for situations where flooding is expected to develop several hours after the beginning of the heavy rainfall for single counties or small groupings of counties. It is also issued on a point basis for specific forecast points along a river when river levels are expected to exceed flood stage.
Severe Weather Statement
Issued as a follow-up to severe weather warnings. Used to relay urgent information about ongoing severe weather, such as damage reports and up-to-the-minute storm location updates. Also used to cancel or expire severe weather warnings.
Flash Flood Statement
Issued as a follow-up to Flash Flood Warnings and contains the latest flooding reports and radar trends.
Flood Statement/Flood Advisory
Flood Statements may be issued as a follow-up to Flood Warnings or as an Advisory for high water in urban areas and along small streams.
Local Storm Report
Used to disseminate weather event information. Includes the time and date of the event, its location, and any other pertinent information.
Special Weather Statement
Used to highlight ongoing or imminent weather conditions that are less than warning or advisory criteria.
Lake Erie Nearshore Forecast
Issued four times a day for waters within 5 nautical miles from the shore of Lake Erie. Contains the forecast of wind, waves, and significant weather for the next two days. Includes any long-term watches, warnings, or advisories.
Lake Erie Open Waters Forecast
Issued four times a day for an area from 5 nautical miles from shore to the U.S. / Canadian border. Contains a synopsis of the significant surface weather features affecting Lake Erie and a forecast of wind, waves, and significant weather for the next 5 days. Includes any long-term watches or warnings.
Special Marine Warning
Issued for short duration events (usually 2 hours or less) of sustained winds or frequent gusts of 34 knots or more. A Special Marine Warning is also issued for waterspout activity.
Marine Weather Statement
Is a multi-functional product which can cancel a Special Marine Warning, relay the possibility of waterspouts, or be used as a Low Water Statement for the western basin of Lake Erie (for navigation purposes).
Great Lakes Ice Forecast
An outlook issued on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays during the ice season and covers all of the Great Lakes and their associated waterways (except Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence Seaway). It contains a 5-day synopsis of weather elements, 36 hour forecast of winds, 5-day temperature outlook and expected ice conditions for the next 5 days. Additional data includes temperature normals, accumulated freezing degree days, and observed ice thickness.
Marine Weather Message
Provides Watches, Warnings and Advisories of marine hazards.
Coastal Flood Statement / Coastal Hazard Message
A dual product used to provide Lake Erie hazard information: 1) provide information for lakeshore flooding (warnings and statements) and 2) to relay rip current risk threats for Lake Erie.
Fire Weather Forecast
Issued once daily. Contains weather elements of critical importance to fire managers, such as relative humidity, precipitation duration and amounts, smoke mixing heights, and transport winds.
 Red Flag Watch/Red Flag Warning
Issued when extreme burning conditions are forecast, including very low relative humidity, strong winds, and dry forest fuels.
Terminal Aerodrome Forecasts
An aviation forecast containing METAR-coded forecast data for a designated airport and its immediate vicinity. Valid for 24 hours in duration, issued 4 times daily.
Flood Watch
Issued when conditions are favorable for flooding during the next 36 hours.
River and Lake Summary
Issued daily. Contains a 3 day river stage forecast for select locations in our hydrologic service area.
Hydrologic Outlook
Issued when conditions appear favorable for possible flooding, typically from 24 to 72 hours in the future. It is also issued bi-weekly as a winter/spring flood outlook from January to April. Finally, this product can also contain information on drought conditions when appropriate.
Climate Summary
Issued daily. Contains climatological observed values, along with normals, records, and monthly, seasonal, and yearly accumulations.
Record Event Report
Issued when a new temperature record occurs.
Regional Temperature and Precipitation Table
Details maximum and minimum temperature along with 24 hour precipitation for select locations across the state.
Monthly Climate Summary
Issued monthly. Contains climatological observed values along with departures from normal for the previous month.
Seasonal Climate Summary
Issued seasonally. Contains climatological observed values along with departures from normal for a season. Seasons are defined as Winter: December, January, February Spring: March, April, May Summer: June, July, August Fall: September, October, November.
Regional Weather Summary
Issued once daily, providing a brief weather summary and forecast for the state.
Public Information Statement
Issued to inform the public of non-routine events of interest. May contain weather safety advice, observed rain or snowfall reports, or storm damage survey results.
Civil Emergency Message
Issued at the request of an emergency manager when a large-scale evacuation or other public action is necessitated by a disaster, either man-made or natural.

Local Climate Water & Weather Topics:
Current Hazards, Ohio Conditions, Pennsylvania Conditions, Radar, Satellite, Climate, Safety
Contact Us

National Weather Service Forecast Office
Cleveland, Ohio
Federal Facilities Building
Cleveland Hopkins Airport
Cleveland, OH 44135
Phone: 216-265-2370
Web Administrator:Webmaster
Page last modified: 25 JAN, 2010
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