What are the differences between a tornado watch and a tornado warning?

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issues public watches and warnings in times of weather danger, and knowing the difference between the two can protect you from tornado related injury.

What a Watch Means:

  • conditions are favorable for a tornado
  • typically cover 25,000 sq. miles

Actions to Take for tornado Watches

  • Review Emergency Plan
  • Gather Supplies
  • Check "Safe Room"

What a Warning Means:

  • a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar
  • imminent danger to life and property

Actions to Take for tornado Warnings

  • Move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building
  • Avoid windows
  • If in a mobile home, a vehicle, or outdoors, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris

For more information:

What to do in Severe Weather

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