3. Know Your Alerts
Do you know the difference between a Tornado Watch and a Tornado Warning?
Unfortunately, these terms aren’t the most intuitive for most people who see them on TV or on their smartphones. For those who need a refresher, here are the terms and definitions from the Weather Channel:
- Severe thunderstorm watch: Conditions are conducive to the development of severe thunderstorms in and around the watch area. These storms produce hail of ¾ inch in diameter and/or wind gusts of at least 58 mph.
- Severe thunderstorm warning: Issued when a severe thunderstorm has been observed by spotters or indicated on radar, and is occurring or imminent in the warning area. These warnings usually last for a period of 30 to 60 minutes.
- Tornado watch: Conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms and multiple tornadoes in and around the watch area. People in the affected areas are encouraged to be vigilant in preparation for severe weather.
- Tornado warning: Spotters have sighted a tornado or one has been indicated on radar, and is occurring or imminent in the warning area. When a tornado warning has been issued, people in the affected area are strongly encouraged to take cover immediately.