Watches and Warnings

  

When a WATCH is issued by the National Weather Service, people should be alert of the possibility for severe weather and have a plan of action in their mind in case a storm threatens.
 
When a WARNING is issued by the National Weather Service, a severe thunderstorm, tornado, or flash flood has been detected by radar or seen by trained weather spotters. People in the path of the storm or flood need to take action to protect themselves and their property.  
 
 

TORNADO WATCH

Weather conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms IN and CLOSE to the watch area. Watches are issued by the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, and are in effect for several hours.

TORNADO WARNING

A tornado or developing tornado is indicated by radar or seen by weather spotters. The tornado warning is issued by the local National Weather Service Office. The warning is typically in effect for 30 minutes to one hour. The tornado warning includes communities in the path of the severe thunderstorm producing the tornado or developing tornado, where the tornado or developing tornado was at the time the warning was issued, and past storm history, if available.

 

WHAT MAKES A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM SEVERE…

A severe thunderstorm produces hail 1 inch or larger in diameter and/or winds of 58 miles per hour or higher and/or a tornado.

 

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH

Weather conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms IN and CLOSE to the watch area. Watches are issued by the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, and are in effect for several hours.

 

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING  

A severe thunderstorm or thunderstorm expected to develop to or above severe limits is indicated by radar or seen by weather spotters.  

 

  

FLOOD STATEMENT

An alert of flooding which is generally only an inconvenience (not life-threatening if proper precautions are taken) to those living in the affected area. It is issued by the local National Weather Service Office when heavy rain will cause high water in streets and low-lying areas. It is also used if small creeks are expected to have high water below bankfull levels. Some damage to roads or other property could occur.

FLOOD WATCH

Indicates that flooding or flash flooding is a possibility IN or CLOSE to the watch area. Those in the affected area are urged to be ready to take quick action if a flash flood warning is issued, or if flooding is seen. Flood Watches are issued by the local National Weather Service office.  

FLASH FLOOD WARNING

Signifies a dangerous situation when rapid flooding of rivers, small streams, or urban areas occurs. Very heavy rain that falls in a short period of time is the main cause of flash flooding which depends on local terrain, ground cover, degree of urbanization, degree of man-made changes to river or stream banks, and initial ground moisture or river conditions. Flash Flood Warnings are issued by the local National Weather Service. 


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