Knowing the difference between the two can prepare you for the necessary steps to take when considering the threat of severe weather.
WASHINGTON — With the peak occurrences for severe weather events in the U.S. happening between the months of March and October, severe weather can really occur at any time. Seeing that severe weather season has arrived, let’s talk about the difference between a Tornado Watch and a Tornado Warning.
A tornado watch means the weather conditions, or ingredients, for tornadoes, are coming together over the next few hours. A watch is a time to prepare. Tornado watches usually cover a large area of several cities and counties, and sometimes even multiple states.
This does not mean a tornado is occurring or will occur for sure. Instead, it’s a reminder to stay aware of the weather during the watch period. This is a good time to check the latest weather forecast, make sure your phone is charged and alerts are turned on.
Also, keep in mind to remind others of possible dangerous weather coming to your location.
A tornado warning is issued when a tornado or funnel cloud has been spotted or is detected using National Weather Service (NWS) radar. Basically, treat a warning as a time for action.
Get to a safe place in your home or building immediately. Do what it takes to protect your life as a tornadic storm is in your immediate area.
Tornado warnings only cover small portions of a county, including a few cities or towns. Remain in your safe space until an all-clear has been given by the NWS.
RELATED: What to do during a Tornado Warning
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