Thunderstorm Watch: means the weather conditions are favorable but not imminent to produce a thunderstorm.
Tornado Watch: means the weather conditions are favorable but not imminent to produce a tornado.
Both of these mean pay attention and have a personal plan because it’s POSSIBLE.
Thunderstorm Warning: Means the weather is producing a storm that has or could produce hail or damaging winds. You should take necessary precautions for your family to seek shelter In this case.
Tornado Warning: This is dangerous. This means that a storm has been upgraded from a Thunderstorm Warning and there is radar indication of rotating clouds or that a spotter has visually seen a tornado in the area.
You should take cover immediately in a basement or room in the center of your house away from windows.
Outdoor Early Warning Systems or commonly referred to as Tornado Sirens: these are usually activated because of immediate tornado threat to the listening area. A siren isn’t usually heard for more than one mile if outside and less if your indoors.
All of these things are meant to educate you so you can make safety decisions for you and your family before and as these storms develop.
Will there always be a stair step notifications? No sometimes storm develop very fast so a storm watch may be elevated to a Tornado Warning without notice. During a warning it’s not the time to grab a beer and go stand on the porch.
As always your trained and experienced first responders are aware of the pending storms and will be out monitoring the situation. The first responders use multiple sources of radar, from news stations to the national weather service. They use their training and years of experience to observe the conditions and rely on experience to how the weather now will indicate what the weather will turn to in minutes.
What should you do when there is a potential for dangerous weather? Pay attention, make sure you have multiple sources of notifications. A weather radio, a phone app, tv, a scanner etc.
Also know where your family is for the evening or day. Waiting until a warning is issued to try and find your teenage child is not a good time. Talk with your family and make sure they know the plan of the weather becomes hazardous.
Another tip that many of us learned over the years. Keep a bucket with a couple days supply of toilet paper, bottle water, food snacks, first aid kits and medication. A bucket can be sealed and easily grabbed when you are taking shelter. Also, before you go to bed make sure you know where your shoes are.
If a damaging storm moves through your neighborhood you will not want to walk through the debris barefoot. An injury to your feet may delay you getting help or hinder you helping your neighbors.
Weather preparedness comes down to this. Your safety and your family’s safety should never rely on anyone else.
We are and will continue to monitor this weeks weather conditions and do our very best to keep you informed and safe. Have a great week ahead!!
Courtesy of the Bates County Sheriffs Office