Understanding Storm Warnings
With the help of technology, there are now several ways to receive storm warning alerts. The television, your cell phone, the internet, and radio are some of these sources where you can discover this information. The real question is if we truly understand what these warnings mean? You will find that knowing these definitions will be very useful knowledge in preparation for a storm:
- Severe Thunderstorm Watch – Conditions are ripe for severe thunderstorms within the watch area.
- Severe Thunderstorm Warning – There is a severe thunderstorm in or heading for the warned area. Treat this like a tornado warning.
- Flash Flood Watch – Flash floods are likely to occur soon. Be aware that water levels could rise at any point in time. Anticipate moving to a higher ground level.
- Flash Flood Warning – Flash floods are occurring or expected to occur soon. If this happens, get to a high ground level immediately, and stay away from vehicles. It only takes 18 inches of water to sweep a car of truck away.
- High Wind Advisory – Windy conditions may occur in the advisory area. This can make for unsafe driving conditions. Especially in (but not limited to) large vehicles. In addition, avoid boating anywhere in the advisory area.
- High Wind Warning – Very strong winds are expected or already occurring that present a significant danger while driving, boating, or any outdoor activities. Often issued near tropical storms and hurricanes.
- Tornado Watch – Conditions are suitable for tornadoes within the watch area. Tornadoes associated with hurricanes and tropical storms are typically a very significant cause of death and damage.
- Tornado Warning – A tornado has been spotted visually or on radar. Usually issued for a county. If a tornado warning is issued where you live, then proceed to the middle of the lowest floor of a strong building immediately.