Severe Weather Awareness: Continued

Severe Weather Awareness: Continued

Continuing on the severe weather preparedness topic for the week, this blog looks at 2 important terms you need to know to prepare for severe weather.
Continuing on the severe weather preparedness topic for the week, and bouncing off of Michael Page's blog from Saturday, this blog looks at 2 important terms you need to know to prepare for severe weather.

        Watch    and     Warning

Do you know the difference? You need to! In the field of meteorology, these two terms are used across fields, and you will hear these terms to describe different threat levels, and time frames of severe weather.

Let's start with the warning. A warning highlights an imminent threat in the short term time frame for a small, specific area. For instance, you may hear "severe thunderstorm warning" or "tornado warning"- based on the knowledge that warning is short term (and knowing what you know about severe thunderstorm guidelines from Michael's blog), you would know to take immediate action to seek shelter away from this dangerous storm, capable of producing damaging winds and/or large hail. Likewise, if you hear "tornado warning" for your town or county, you would need to seek shelter inside immediately, preferably in a basement or lowest interior room of your home.

Now, what a watch means...  A watch is also tagged onto the threat, either a "tornado watch" or "severe thunderstorm watch". This is a longer time frame, and more of a "heads up" that severe weather may impact your area over the next several hours. A "watch" is typically issued for a larger region, as opposed to a small, storm specific area to highlight an overall "favorable area" for severe weather development. A "watch" does not require immediate action, but you should monitor later weather to listen for any warnings that may be issued for your area once storms develop and/or reach your area.

Now you have the basics, you will be able to keep ahead of severe weather before it hits and keep yourself and others safe. 
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