Weather Terms Every Homeowner Should Pay Attention To

Owning a home is a monumental point for anyone but with the joys of homeownership also comes the responsibilities. Keeping your property and loved ones prepared and protected is an important task and when it comes to preparing for harsh weather conditions, knowing what you are up against is the first step in overcoming them.

Following local and national weather advisories is important because it could be a matter of life or death for you and your loved ones but they also help you protect your home by understanding the scenarios it may be facing. However, this is not as effective without a clear understanding of what information those advisories are presenting to you. If you live on the Gulf Coast long enough, you’re going to experience a hurricane. The Midwest will most likely deal with more tornadoes than most other areas in the U.S. but the North has plenty of winter-time extreme storms while wildfires and earthquakes tend to affect the West. 

This means no matter where you are in this country, you’re going to have a local weather issue to prepare for one way or another. Learn more about some terms used that can help you prepare your home ahead of a disaster and always protect your home with a homeowners insurance policy from TGS Insurance for maximum coverage that will fit your budget.

*Note: TGS Insurance works hard to provide valuable insight, tips, and tricks for protecting your home, auto, and loved ones, however, while we may be experts in saving you money on your insurance policies, you should always defer to the actual weather experts during severe weather events. This article is merely a helpful guide and discretion is always advised.

Advisories, Watches, and Warnings

Three of the most identifiable weather terms, advisories, watches, and warnings can seem to blend together at times. But understanding the difference between each term can help you make a more informed decision on how you prepare your home for the weather at hand:

  • Advisories are the least severe of the bunch. They indicate that abnormal weather could be a threat and while some conditions could be life-threatening, expect milder situations than other severe weather conditions.
  • Watches are a step above advisories and they mean things are beginning to take an elevated level of seriousness. A watch may also be a bit broad in the geographical area to cover the bases of where the severe weather might hit. Be prepared for intense weather conditions. Evacuations may be necessary.
  • Warnings send a direct message that an area is in the path of a severe weather event. If you’re under a weather warning you will likely experience disruptive and life-threatening weather conditions. Evacuations may be necessary and even mandatory. Preparations should be made as soon as possible to protect life and property.

These terms can apply to tornadoes, blizzards, tropical storms/hurricanes, and many other weather events.

Forecast Cones

The biggest issue with forecast cones is not that people don’t know what they are, but rather, most of us get caught up looking at the size of the cone and equate it to the storm. Forecast cones show the possible area in which a weather event such as a hurricane is forecasted to possibly take place, however, this does not mean that the cone represents the size of the storm.

Invests

For an in-depth look you can check out the experts here, but invests are simply areas that are being investigated by the National Hurricane Center for possible development that could lead to a tropical depression/storm under the right conditions and continued escalation.

High-Pressure Systems and Low-Pressure Systems

High-pressure systems cause winds to blow away from its center which is filled with high pressure. Low-pressure systems cause winds to blow towards the center which contains low amounts of pressure. An important point to remember about these systems is that high-pressure systems can hold off major wind events such as hurricanes due to their nature of blowing air from its center. Low-pressure systems are what develop into tropical depressions/storms and hurricanes.

Severe Thunderstorms

When we hear severe thunderstorms it can be easy to brush it off as a rainy day with some lightning strikes and a great excuse to stay indoors and binge-watch our favorite shows. The truth is, severe thunderstorms are classified storms that can bring wind over 50 mph, hail, and produce tornadoes. They can cause billions of dollars in damage and should not be taken lightly. If you are in a region that experiences them frequently, windstorm insurance may help protect your home should it bear the worst of the storm.

Bankfull, Flood Crest, and Flood Stage

Flooding is a serious weather event that can have deadly consequences if not taken seriously. Understanding the terms that come with a flood event can help you prepare and seek shelter when appropriate:

  • Bankfall- this is as high as a river can reach before it begins to breach its banks. It is important to note that this is typically used when a river breaches but there is no damage to property.
  • Flood Crest- the measurement of the maximum height a river reaches while it is flooding an area.
  • Flood Stage- how high a river reaches while flooding an area and causing flood damage.

The right flood insurance policy will also help protect your home in its time of need and considering more than 20% of all flood insurance claims come from outside flood zones, this protection is important no matter where you live.

TGS Insurance is a Proud Resource for Homeowners

The team at TGS Insurance is proud to serve our clients and communities with resources and products to help them prepare for a variety of extreme weather perils. We help people save money without missing out on the coverages they may need by bundling policies and shopping through our extensive network of partnerships with top-rated insurance providers. Contact us today and learn more about how our experts can help you save money and keep everything you hold dear protected.

About Buddy Blouin

Buddy is a content writer for TGS Insurance and has been with the company for a year. He works to create digestible content that provides value to the reader. When he is not writing articles, you'll find him watching sports, grilling, or hanging out with friends.