Tornado Watch or Warning: What should you do if you see an alert message?
The difference between a Tornado Watch and a Tornado Warning is explained by AccuWeather.
Tornado watches and tornado warnings serve different purposes, and you should respond to each differently, according to AccuWeather.
NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center (SPC) typically issues a tornado warning several hours in advance. It denotes that the conditions are favorable for the formation of a tornado. According to AccuWeather, a watch does not always indicate severe weather.
Tornado Watch: Be Prepared
“A watch is issued when conditions are favorable, such as for a severe thunderstorm or tornado,” explained AccuWeather.com Senior Weather forecaster (Meteorologist) Dan Kottlowski. “This does not imply that severe weather is imminent.”
If a watch is in effect in your area, you should monitor weather alerts and be prepared to act. Make sure you have a plan in place for what to do if a tornado strikes.
A watch covers a large area, whereas a warning covers a smaller area and is issued by a local National Weather Service meteorologist.
Tornado Warning: Take Action
A tornado warning indicates that either a tornado has been sighted or a tornado has been detected by radar.
If you are in an area where a tornado warning is in effect, you must act quickly. Make your way to a safe location, such as a storm shelter. If you don’t have one, the best place to hide is usually in the basement or the center of a building, away from windows and preferably in an area with reinforced walls.
A tornado emergency may be declared on rare occasions during significant moments such as a tornado outbreak near a densely populated area. The difference between a warning and an emergency is determined by the extent of the damage.
Those in the path of a tornado emergency, like those in the path of a tornado warning, should seek shelter and wait for authorities to say when it’s safe to return outside.
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