In an effort to differentiate between flooding that occurs along rivers and that which occurs over a broad area, the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids recently changed the wording for its flood warnings, watches, and advisories.
An ''Areal'' Flood Warning, Watch or Advisory is used to describe flooding that is occurring, or expected to occur over a broad area. An ''Areal Flood Warning'' may be issued for entire county or group of counties, indicating flooding is taking place over a broad area that may impact travel and/or homes and businesses.
A "River" Flood Warning, Watch or Advisory is used to describe flooding that is occuring, or expected to occur at a specific point along an area river. An example of a "River" Flood Warning might be for the Grand River at Comstock Park. This indicates flooding is taking place at, or along a specific point on an area river or stream.