Skip Navigation Linkswww.weather.gov 
NOAA logo - Click to go to the NOAA homepage National Weather Service Forecast Office   NWS logo - Click to go to the NWS homepage    
Los Angeles, California
navigation bar decoration      
spacer
lefttab Weather Radio righttab lefttab Weather Phenomena righttab lefttab Weather Hazards righttab lefttab Hazard Definitions righttab lefttab El Nino righttab lefttab Climate Change righttab lefttab FAQ righttab
safety title
General Hazard Definitions
  • Watch (12 to 48 hours in advance)
    - Life and/or property threatening weather or hydrologic hazard possible. Conditions are favorable, but there is some uncertainty. Can be upgraded to a warning or advisory.
  •  
  • Warning (minutes to hours in advance)
    - Life and/or property threatening weather or hydrologic hazard is imminent or occurring. Take immediate action!
  •  
  • Advisory (minutes to hours in advance)
    - Nuisance-level weather or hydrologic hazard is imminent or occurring. A non-life threatening event, but may cause problems if precautions are not taken.

  • Hazard Criteria
    Hazard Criteria Reference
    WFO Los Angeles/Oxnard
    | Tsunami Hazards | Non-Precipitation Hazards | Winter Weather Hazards | Hydrologic Hazards |
    | Fire Weather Hazards | Coastal Hazards | Marine Hazards | Convective Hazards |
    | Hurricane/Tropical Hazards | Other Hazards |

    Tsunami Hazards
    Quick link to products:
    | Tsunami Warning | Tsunami Advisory | Tsunami Watch | Non-Warning Tsunami Events |
    Product
    Product ID
    Subject Matter
    Tsunami Warning
    SPSLOX
    Danger! Widespread inundation is imminent or occurring. Move to higher ground!
    Tsunami Advisory SPSLOX Strong currents or waves are imminent or occurring. Move away from harbors and marinas.
    Tsunami Watch SPSLOX Potential tsunami which may later impact the area. Can be upgraded to a warning or advisory.
    Special Weather Statement
    SPSLOX Local tsunami statements frequently updated during a tsunami event.

    Return to top of Tsunami Hazards


    Hazard Type
    Product ID
    Event/Hazard
    Air Stagnation Advisory
    NPWLOX
    Weather conditions that contribute to poor natural ventilation for a period of days, and thus potentially poor air quality
    Ashfall Advisory
    NPWLOX
    Airborne ash plume resulting in ongoing deposition at the surface. Ashfall may orginate directly from a volcanic eruption or from the resuspension (by wind) of a significant amount of relic ash
    Blowing Dust Advisory
    NPWLOX
    Widespread visibility of less than 1 mile but greater than 1/4 mile due to blowing dust is occurring or will occur within the next 2 hours
    Dense Fog Advisory
    NPWLOX

    Areas of or widespread visibility to 1/4 mile or less* for a period of 3 hours or more
    * Zone 87 (Catalina Island) requires widespread zero visibility for Dense Fog Advisory.

    Dense Smoke Advisory
    NPWLOX
    Widespread visibility of 1/4 mile or less due to smoke is occurring or will occur within the next 2 hours
    Dust Storm Warning
    NPWLOX
    Widespread visibility of 1/4 mile or less due to blowing dust is occurring or will occur within the next 2 hours
    Excessive Heat Warning
    NPWLOX

    Heat index values reach or are forecast to reach the following thresholds for any length of time

    Coast/Valley zones: 105 F
    Mountain zones: 100 F
    Desert zone: 115 F

    Excessive Heat Watch
    NPWLOX

    Heat index values reach or are forecast to reach the following thresholds for any length of time in the next 12 to 48 hours

    Coast/Valley zones: 105 F
    Mountain zones: 100 F
    Desert zone: 115 F

    Hard Freeze Warning
    NPWLOX
    Surface temperature is forecast to reach or fall below 28 F for two or more consecutive hours over a widespread area

    Zones 36, 37, 38, and 59:
    - Issue the first and second time each season
    - or anytime between 1 Apr and 1 Nov.
    Zones 51-54:
    - Never issue freeze warnings.
    Zones 34, 35, 39, 40, 41, 44, 45, 46, 547, 548, 87, and 88:
    - Issue anytime of year.

    Hard Freeze Watch
    NPWLOX
    Hard Freeze conditions probable in the next 12 to 48 hours
    Freeze Warning
    NPWLOX
    Surface temperature is forecast to reach or fall between 29-32 F for two or more consecutive hours over a widespread area

    Zones 36, 37, 38, and 59:
    - Issue the first and second time each season
    - or anytime between 1 Apr and 1 Nov.
    Zones 51-54:
    - Never issue freeze warnings.
    Zones 34, 35, 39, 40, 41, 44, 45, 46, 547, 548, 87, and 88:
    - Issue anytime of year.

    Freeze Watch
    NPWLOX
    Freeze conditions probable in the next 12 to 48 hours
    Frost Advisory
    NPWLOX
    Surface temperature is forecast to reach or fall below between 33-35 F for two consecutive hours over a widespread area

    Zones 36, 37, 38, and 59:
    - Issue the first and second time each season
    - or anytime between 1 Apr and 1 Nov.
    Zones 51>54:
    - Never issue freeze warnings.
    Zones 34, 35, 39, 40, 41, 44, 45, 46, 547, 548, 87, and 88:
    - Issue anytime of year.
     
    High Wind Warning
    NPWLOX

    Coastal/Valley zones:
    Sustained wind equal to or greater than 40 mph and/or frequent gusts equal to or greater than 58 mph expected to occur in the next 12 hours.
    - Wind must be non-localized and expected to last for one hour or more.

    Mountain/Desert zones:

    Below 7000 ft: Sustained wind equal to or greater than 45 mph and/or frequent gusts equal to or greater than 58 mph expected to occur in the next 12 hours
    Above 7000 ft: Sustained wind equal to or greater than 55 mph and/or frequent gusts equal to or greater than 75 mph expected to occur in the next 12 hours

    High Wind Watch
    NPWLOX

    Coastal/Valley zones:
    Sustained wind equal to or greater than 40 mph and/or frequent gusts equal to or greater than 58 mph expected to occur in the next 12 to 36 hours

    Mountain/Desert zones:
    Below 7000 ft: Sustained wind equal to or greater than 45 mph and/or frequent gusts equal to or greater than 58 mph expected to occur in the next 12 to 36 hours
    Above 7000 ft: Sustained wind equal to or greater than 55 mph and/or frequent gusts equal to or greater than 75 mph expected to occur in the next 12 to 36 hours

    Wind Advisory
    NPWLOX

    Coastal/Valley zones:
    Sustained wind equal to or greater than 30 mph and/or frequent gusts equal to or greater than 35 mph expected to occur in the next 12 hours

    Mountain/Desert zones:
    - Below 7000 ft: Sustained wind equal to or greater than 35 mph and/or frequent gusts equal to or greater than 45 mph expected to occur in the next 12 hours
    - Above 7000 ft: Sustained wind equal to or greater than 45 mph and/or frequent gusts equal to or greater than 55 mph expected to occur in the next 12 hours

    Return to top of Non-Precipitation Hazards

    Hazard Type
    Product ID
    Event/Hazard
    Blizzard Warning
    WSWLOX
    Combination of sustained 35 mph or greater wind and visibility 1/4 mile or less in snow and blowing snow expected to last at least 3 hours during the next 12 to 18 hours
    Blizzard Watch
    WSWLOX
    Combination of sustained 35 mph or greater wind and visibility 1/4 mile or less in snow and blowing snow expected in the next 12 to 48 hours
    Freezing Rain Advisory
    WSWLOX
    Imminent, occurring or highly probable accrual of ice up to 1/4 inch thick due to freezing rain or freezing drizzle
    Ice Storm Warning
    WSWLOX
    Imminent, occurring or highly probable ice accrual of 1/4 inch or more due to freezing rain in the next 12 hours
    Wind Chill Advisory
    WSWLOX

    Wind chill values between -10 F and -19 F are imminent, occurring, or highly probable in the next 12 hours

    Wind Chill Warning
    WSWLOX
    Wind chill values -20 F or less are imminent, occurring, or highly probable in the next 12 hours
    Wind Chill Watch
    WSWLOX
    Wind chill values -20 F or less are possible in the next 12 to 48 hours
    Winter Storm Warning
    WSWLOX

    Imminent, occurring or highly probable snowfall rates of the following:

    Mountain zones:
    Above 7000 ft: 12" in 12 hours or 18" in 24 hours
    Below 7000 ft: 8" in 12 hours or 12" in 24 hours

    Non-mountain zones:
    4" in 12 hours or 6" in 24 hours

    ...Or when the following criteria is occurring or is expected to occur in the next 12 hours:
    1. Any single or combination of precipitation type(s) and wind below blizzard
    2. Multiple precipitation type

    Winter Storm Watch
    WSWLOX

    Winter Storm or Heavy Snow conditions are possible in the next 12 to 48 hours

    Winter Weather Advisory
    WSWLOX

    Imminent, occurring or highly probable in the next 12 hours snowfall rates of the following:

    Mountain zones: 4-7" in 12 hours
    Zones 37, 38, and 59: 1-3" in 12 hours
    All other zones: Any snow in 12 hours

    ...Or when the following criteria is occurring or is expected to occur in the next 12 hours:
    1. Any single or combination of precipitation type(s) and wind
    2. Multiple precipitation type

    Return to top of Winter Weather Hazards

    Hazard Type
    Product ID
    Event/Hazard
    Hydrologic Outlook
    ESFLOX

    There is a good possibility of a storm system bringing flooding or flash flooding to the LOX CWA within the next 36 to 72 hours

    Flood Watch
    FFALOX

    A threat of mainstem river or tributary flooding during the next 36 hours
    -OR-
    Flooding mainly during the winter season, that is hazardous to either life or property, or will cause a great amount of flood related problems during the next 36 hours

    Areal Flood Warning
    FLWLOX

    Flooding that occurs greater than 6 hours after causative event and is hazardous to either life or property or will cause a great amount of flood related problems
    * Issued mainly during the winter season.

    Flood Warning
    (River)
    FLWLOX

    Mainstem river or tributary flow rates exceed the flood flow rate or are forecast to exceed the flood flow rate as indicated in river forecasts from the CNRFC (RNORVFSCA or RNORVFCCA)
    -OR-
    The magnitude of the flood changes to a higher category (i.e., minor to moderate, moderate to major)
    -OR-
    A dam has failed in such a way that the release of water will cause the downstream river to slowly rise and flood

    Flood Advisory
    FLSLOX
    Nuisance flooding that causes minor inconveniences is occurring or imminent (i.e., flooding in urban areas due to poor drainage, minor flooding of low-lying areas)
    Flood Statement
    FLSLOX

    Updates, cancellations, or subtraction of areas to Areal Flood Warning, River Flood Warning, or Flood Advisory products

    Flash Flood Watch
    FFALOX

    Hydrometeorological conditions that support the possibility of rapid onset of flash flooding (rapid flooding within 6 hours of intense rainfall) during the next 0-36 hours
    -OR-
    When rainfall intensity is likely to exceed USGS-forced flash flood guidance over any recent burn area.
    -OR-
    A dam failure is probable but not occurring or certain

    Flash Flood Warning
    FFWLOX

    Flash flooding that is either occurring or imminent that poses a threat to life and/or property
    -OR-
    When USGS-forced flash flood guidance is expected to be met or exceeded in the next 2 hours over recent burn areas
    -OR-
    Dam or levee failure

    Flash Flood Statement
    FFSLOX

    Updates, cancellations, or subtraction of areas to Flash Flood Warnings

    Hydrologic Statement
    RVSLOX
    CNRFC issues a river forecast product (RNORVFSCA or RNORVFCCA) that indicates an observed or forecast river stage/flow at or above Flood Stage/Flow

    Return to top of Hydrologic Hazards

    Fire Weather Hazards
    Quick link to products:
    |
    Fire Weather Watch | Red Flag Warning |
    Hazard Type
    Product ID
    Event/Hazard
    Fire Weather Watch
    RFWLOX
    High potential for red flag criteria within 12 to 72 hours
    Red Flag Warning
    RFWLOX

    Red Flag conditions occurring or expected to occur within the next 24 hours.

    Red Flag conditions require dry fuels with the following:
    All zones except Antelope Valley:
    RH 15% or less
    with either sustained winds 25 mph or greater OR frequent gusts 35 mph or greater
    for a duration of 6 hours or more
    -OR-
    RH 10% or less with either sustained winds 15 mph or greater or frequent gusts 25 mph or greater for a duration of 6 hours or more
    -OR-
    Widespread and/or signficant dry lightning
    -OR-
    Other - unusual but significant meteorological and/or fuel conditions in coordination with GACC or local agency

    Antelope Valley:
    RH 15% or less with sustained winds 25 mph or greater for a duration of 8 hours or more
    -
    OR-
    Other - based on coordination with GACC or local agency

    Return to top of Fire Weather Hazards

    Hazard Type
    Product ID
    Event/Hazard
    Coastal Flood Advisory
    CFWLOX

    Non-severe coastal flooding occurring or expected to occur in the next 12 hours:

    Due to: Higher than normal surf, Astronomical high tides, Strong wind

    Coastal Flood Statement
    CFWLOX
    Inundation of land near the coast by sea water over and above that of normal tidal action possible beyond 36 hours OR above normal surf conditions in the next 36 hours
    Coastal Flood Warning CFWLOX A serious threat to life and property in the next 12 to 24 hours from the inundation of land near the coast caused by sea water over and above that of normal tidal action

    Due to:
    Storm Surge, High Surf, Tidal Piling
    Coastal Flood Watch CFWLOX A threat to life and property in the next 12 to 36 hours from the inundation of land near the coast caused by sea water over and above that of normal tidal action

    Due to:
    Storm Surge, High Surf, Tidal Piling
    High Surf Advisory CFWLOX

    North of Pt. Conception:
    Widespread surf of 10 ft or greater is imminent, occurring, or highly probable in the next 36 hours

    South of Pt. Conception:
    Widespread surf of 7 ft or greater is imminent, occurring, or highly probable in the next 36 hours

    Return to top of Coastal Hazards

    Hazard Type
    Product ID
    Event/Hazard
    Small Craft Advisory CWFLOX Sustained winds or frequent gusts 21-33 kts occurring or expected to occur in the next 24 hours OR a combination of the above criteria with seas 10 ft or higher
    Small Craft Advisory for Hazardous Seas CWFLOX Large Seas of 10 ft or higher, or hazardous steep seas at short intervals is occurring or expected to occur in the next 24 hours
    Gale Warning
    CWFLOX
    Sustained winds or frequent gusts 34-47 kts occurring or expected to occur in the next 24 hours
    Storm Warning CWFLOX

    Sustained winds or frequent gusts 48-63 kts occurring or expected to occur in the next 24 hours

    Hurricane Force Wind Warning
    CWFLOX
    Sustained winds or frequent gusts 64 kts or greater occurring or expected to occur in the next 24 hours
    Gale/Storm/Hurricane Force Watch
    CWFLOX
    Gale Force/Storm Force/Hurricane Force winds are possible in the next 12 to 48 hours.
    Special Marine Warning SMWLOX

    Short-duration (less than 2 hours) events such as:

    • Hail 3/4" or larger
    • Convective winds sustained or gusting 34 kts or greater
    • Waterspouts
    • Cold-air funnel clouds
    • Squalls
    • Non-convective short duration sustained winds or gusts 34 kts or greater
    Marine Weather Statement MWSLOX

    Non-severe, but potentially hazardous conditions not covered by warnings or routine forecasts (see comments)
    -OR-
    Highlight significant weather events expected to affect mariners in the 2-5 day forecast period
    -OR-
    Follow-up to Special Marine Warning

    Return to top of Marine Hazards

    Hazard Type
    Product ID
    Event/Hazard
    Severe Thunderstorm Warning
    SVRLOX

    When the following conditions are reported by a reliable source or are likely to occur from a thunderstorm:

    • Hail 3/4" or larger
    • Sustained winds or gusts 58 mph (50 kts) or greater
    • Wind damage (i.e., structural damage, significant tree damage, downed power lines)
    Severe Thunderstorm Watch
    WCNLOX
    Storm Prediction Center (SPC) issues a Severe Thunderstorm Watch Outline statement (WOU) for any part of WFO LOX's county or marine warning area
    Tornado Warning TORLOX A tornado is sighted, reported by a reliable source, or indicated to be likely occurring or forming in radar data
    Tornado Watch WCNLOX Storm Prediction Center (SPC) issues a Tornado Watch Outline statement (WOU) for any part of WFO LOX's county or marine warning area
    Severe Weather Statement SVSLOX

    Follow-up product for Severe Thunderstorm and Tornado Warnings

    Return to top of Convective Hazards

    Hazard Type
    Product ID
    Event/Hazard
    Hurricane Local Statement
    HLSLOX

    Issued when the Tropical Prediction Center places any part of the WFO LOX county warning area under a Tropical Storm or Hurricane Watch or Warning or Evacuation Order
    -OR-
    To dispel rumors or clarify tropical cyclone information affecting the WFO LOX county warning area (MIC or AMIC approved)

    Return to top of Hurricane/Tropical Hazards

    Product
    Product ID
    Subject Matter
    Hazardous Weather Outlook
    HWOLOX
    Summary of weather hazards affecting or expected to affect the WFO LOX county and marine warning area during the next 7 days. Issued at least once a day at 600 am when hazards exist in the next 7 days
    Local Storm Report LSRLOX Storm reports that support warning level criteria
    Public Information Statement
    PNSLOX

    Summary of rainfall and snowfall reports

    Summary of wind speeds

    Summary of non-routine products in effect.

    Short Term Forecast NOWLOX Ongoing or forecast weather conditions less than warning or advisory criteria expected during the next 6 hours.
    Special Weather Statement SPSLOX Significant or unusual weather event(s) forecast to occur in the next 1 to 3 days.

    Return to top of Other Hazards

     

     

     


    Webmaster
    US Dept of Commerce
    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    National Weather Service
    Los Angeles/Oxnard Weather Forecast Office
    520 North Elevar Street
    Oxnard, CA 93030

    Tel: (805) 988-6610

    Disclaimer
    Information Quality
    Credits
    Glossary
    Organization
    Privacy Policy
    Freedom of Information Act
    About Us
    Career Opportunities