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Severe Weather Facts

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Severe Weather Facts

The difference between a watch and a warning:

A Watch means conditions are favorable for a severe thunderstorm to form and highlights a large area of counties that could see those storms.

  • It lets you know that now is the time to be “weather aware” and keep an eye to the sky.
  • Keep your radio, television, or mobile device nearby.
  • A Severe Thunderstorm Watch means that storms with at least 58mph winds and/or Quarter size hail or larger are possible in any storm that forms.
  • A Tornado Watch means that conditions are favorable for a tornado to form in any severe storm that develops.

>>Download the FOX13 Weather App now – for iPhone and Android phones

A Warning means that the storm has already formed and action needs to be taken

  • A warning is much more serious than a watch.
  • A Severe Thunderstorm Warning means large hail and damaging winds are likely in the storm, and you should head indoors immediately and stay away from windows.
  • Remember that a tornado can still form at any time from a Severe Thunderstorm Warning, so take shelter inside every time you see this warning issued.
  • A Tornado Warning means a tornado has been spotted, or radar indicates a tornado could form at any time or is already occurring.
  • You should find shelter immediately if you hear this warning for your area.

It is important to know that outdoor tornado sirens are meant primarily for outdoor use. (For example: to warn you if you’re outside at soccer practice with your kids, away from your television or radio.) You may not hear the tornado siren if you’re in your home, especially if you’re asleep.

NOAA weather radios can be programmed to wake you and warn you in the event of severe weather.

  • You can buy them at most discount department stores, electronics stores, or online.
  • Weather radios can be relatively inexpensive and easy to program.
  • Have several ways to receive severe alerts: TV, weather radio, and especially on your mobile device like the FOX13 Weather App — iPhone/iPad Download | Android Download. Our app can track the warning all the way down to your street and only alert you when you are in the warning.