Severe Weather Products

Hazardous Weather Outlook - Click for info.

Tornado Watch: A Tornado Watch is issued by the storm prediction center in Norman Oklahoma. Tornado Watches are issued for a large area and last 4 to 8 hours. They are usually put out before the occurrence of the severe weather event. A Tornado Watch means conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes in and close to the watch area. If you are in or around a tornado watch you should stay tuned to your local media.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch: A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is also issued by the storm prediction center in Norman Oklahoma. Severe Thunderstorm Watches are issued for a large area and last 4 to 8 hours. They are usually put out before the occurrence of the severe weather event. A Severe Thunderstorm Watch means conditions are favorable for damaging winds of 58 mph or greater, hail to the size of 3/4 inch or greater, deadly cloud to ground lighting and possibly torrential rains.

Tornado Warning: A Tornado Warning is issued when a tornado has been indicated by radar or has been spotted on the ground. Updates on Tornado Warnings are transmitted under Severe Weather Statements.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning: Issued when a Severe Thunderstorm is occurring or imminent in the warning area. Severe Thunderstorms are defined as having damaging winds equal to or greater than 58 mph, and hail equal to or greater than three-quarters of an inch diameter. Frequent lightning and heavy rains are not included in the definition of a severe thunderstorm. Updates on Severe Thunderstorm Warnings are transmitted under Severe Weather Statements.

Severe Weather Statement: Provides updated information on Tornado and Severe Thunderstorm Warnings that are currently in effect or recently expired. Can include related damage reports or weather conditions and also cancel existing warnings.

Special Weather Statement: Special Weather Statements serve a multi-purpose:

  • To cancel counties from a severe thunderstorm or tornado watch box, relay other information as staff members deem appropriate, and wrap up an event after a watch has expired or been canceled.
  • To activate and de-activate area SKYWARN spotters.
  • Can be issued as an Outlook Statement, when there is a good chance for a significant weather event beyond the point not covered by a watch (usually the fourth period of the forecast or in the extended forecast period).
  • The Hazardous Weather Outlooks are issued also under the Special Weather Statement Header.

Local Storm Report: This product contains preliminary, unofficial severe weather reports received by our office. Official statistics can be found in Storm Data published by the National Climatic Data Center.


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