During the Summer months when thunderstorms with heavy rain occur, the National Weather Service issues a variety of flood-related products. But what are the differences between them.
Essentially, the NWS places flooding into two categories: 1) threatening to life and/or property, or 2) "nuisance" flooding.
Flash Flood: Potential Threat to Life and/or Property
A "Flash Flood Watch" will be issued when the potential of flash flooding is in the upcoming future. A "Flash Flood Warning" is issued when Flash Flooding is imminent or occuring. By Nationa Weather Service definitions, the following constitute a Flash Flood:
During a rapid period of time, usually less than 6 hours,
Spring Creek Flash Flood
Flash Flood Watches and Warning will be updated or canceled by "Flash Flood Statements".
Urban and/or Small Stream Flood: "nuisance" flooding
An "Urban and/or Small Stream Advisory" will be issued when some flooding is about to occur but generally doesn’t pose a threat to life or property. Small streams or creeks may leave their banks but don’t threaten structures. Also, these events may include standing water in parking lots, streets, or backed up storm sewers. However, if rain amounts increase these advisories may be upgraded to a "Flash Flood Warning".