What is a Tornado?
A tornado is a violent, rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground. While most tornadoes produce damage paths of 100 yards wide or less, and path lengths of a couple miles, some can be on the ground for over 60 miles.
Being prepared for such a storm can help save your life. Here are some critical definitions to keep in mind:
Conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes in and close to the watch area. Watches cover large areas of one or more states. Watches are usually in effect for several hours, with 6 hours being the most common.
A tornado is indicated by radar, or has been sighted by storm spotters. The warning will include where the tornado is and what towns will be in its path. Tornado warnings affect all or portions of specific counties, and are generally in effect for about 45 minutes or less.