Be Weather Aware - Understanding Tornado Alerts

As we are approaching some possible severe weather that includes the threat of Tornadoes, I wanted you to have an understanding of Tornado Alerts, watch vs. warning.

Now is the time to be weather-ready, have a tornado safety plan, prepare your home/office space, and sign up for notifications.

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Understanding Tornado Alerts

I like to advise the public to think about the alerts in this manner:

Tornado Watch means to be prepared and that conditions are favorable for tornado development.

Tornado Warning means to take action, and a storm spotter has spotted a tornado or radar data indicates a tornado is occurring.

Here is how the National Weather Service defines the alerts:

Tornado Watch: Be Prepared! "Tornadoes are possible in and near the watch area. Review and discuss your emergency plans and check supplies and your safe room. Be ready to act quickly if a warning is issued or you suspect a tornado is approaching. Acting early helps to save lives! Watches are issued by the Storm Predication Center for counties where tornadoes may occur. The watch area is typically large, covering numerous counties or even states."

Tornado Warning: Take Action! A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. There is imminent danger to life and property. Move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building. Avoid windows. If in a mobile home, a vehicle, or outdoors, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris. Warnings are issued by your local forecast office. Warnings typically encompass a much smaller area (around the size of a city or small county) that may be impacted by a tornado identified by a forecaster on radar or by trained spotter/law enforcement who is watching the storm.

Keeping you weather aware and safe - @MaryKRadio – Weather Reporter