The Riverton office of the National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for much of Wyoming from noon Thursday to 6 p.m. Friday.

Meanwhile, the Weather Service has forecast a 30% chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms in central and north-central Wyoming on today and Thursday.

"Nuisance flooding remains a concern today with any thunderstorms. Gusty outflow winds up to 40 mph may also occur," the Weather Service says.

By Thursday afternoon, the change of precipitation will rise to 80% and that's when the flood watch kicks in.

"Excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and lood-prone locations. Creeks and streams may rise out of their banks. Low-water crossings may be flooded. Area creeks and streams are running high and could flood with more heavy rain," the Weather Service says.

While this forecast is for central and north-central Wyoming, it's similar for the southeastern portion of the state.

Keep informed of conditions in your area by visiting the National Weather Service website for Wyoming.

A "flood watch" is the least hazardous of National Weather Service flood categories, but it still requires vigilance and preparation. These are the categories:

"Flash Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flash Flood Warning is issued when a flash flood is imminent or occurring. If you are in a flood prone area move immediately to high ground. A flash flood is a sudden violent flood that can take from minutes to hours to develop. It is even possible to experience a flash flood in areas not immediately receiving rain.
Flash Flood Warnings are changing to an Impact-Based format to improve public response.

"Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flood Warning is issued when the hazardous weather event is imminent or already happening. A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.

"Flood Advisory: Be Aware: An Flood Advisory is issued when a specific weather event that is forecast to occur may become a nuisance. A Flood Advisory is issued when flooding is not expected to be bad enough to issue a warning. However, it may cause significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, it could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.

"Flood Watch: Be Prepared: A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for a specific hazardous weather event to occur. A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible."

These are some of the recommendations to stay safe during a flood

Don't walk through flood waters. It only takes 6 inches of moving water to knock you off your feet.

If you are trapped by moving water, move to the highest possible point and call 911 if possible.

Do NOT drive into flooded roadways or around a barricade; Turn Around, Don't Drown! Water may be deeper than it appears and can hide hazards such as sharp objects, washed out road surfaces, electrical wires, chemicals, etc.

A vehicle caught in swiftly moving water can be swept away in seconds 12 inches of water can float a car or small SUV, 18 inches of water can carry away large vehicles.

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