Weather is the most frequent cause of disasters in New Hampshire. Compared with other parts of the country, Mother Nature is kind to the Granite State. In theory, New Hampshire could experience any type of natural disaster that occurs anywhere in the world, except perhaps for a volcanic eruption. But as a practical matter our northern location and mountainous terrain limit our exposure to the most dangerous types of storms.
There are three most common weather events that affect the Granite State on a fairly regular basis: floods, hurricanes and severe winter storms. (Link to natural hazards). In any five-year period it is a virtual certainty that we will experience all three of these events at some point.
Normal weather in New Hampshire varies greatly. In the summertime, temperatures close to 100 degrees F. are possible in inland areas, while cold in the mountains and far north can get down to nearly 40 below zero F.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service covers New Hampshire with two offices. The Taunton, Mass., office, www.erh.noaa.gov/er/box, forecasts for Cheshire and Hillsborough counties, while the Gray, Maine, office, www.erh.noaa.gov/er/gyx, covers Coõs, Carroll, Grafton, Belknap, Merrimack, Sullivan, Strafford and Rockingham counties.
A good way to monitor weather conditions in New Hampshire is through National Weather Service broadcasts on VHF radio. Here are the stations located in New Hampshire:
Weather radio receivers, available from several manufacturers, can be programmed to receive specific types of weather alerts and for specific counties.
One of the most important things to remember when listening to weather information is the distinction between a watch and a warning. A watch means that the conditions that could produce a particular event are present, but it hasn't happened yet. A warning means that the event is imminent or already occurring in the warning area and immediate actions should be taken to protect life or property.
For more information on NOAA Weather Radio see www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr.