Know Your Weather: Part 1

June 19, 2012

We are currently in the middle of both tornado AND hurricane seasons. Many people are unsure of how to interpret what they are hearing on the news, radio, internet, and weather radios with regard to severity of storms. We are posting a two-part summer series on weather terms frequently used when describing severe weather. Today, we're talking about severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.

Severe Thunderstorms

Severe Thunderstorm Watch: Weather conditions are favorable that a severe thunderstorm is likely to develop in or around the watch area. You want to be aware of what is going on around you in the event that conditions change.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning: A severe thunderstorm has been seen and confirmed either on radar or by storm spotters. The thunderstorm is occurring NOW or is imminent. You need to take precautions in the event the storm should increase in intensity, or produces strong winds or hail. 

NOTE: Severe thunderstorms can cause tornadoes, so be aware and have quick access to weather reports and/or your weather radio.

Tornadoes

Tornado Watch: Weather conditions are favorable that a tornado is likely to develop in or around the watch area. You want to be aware of what is going on around you in the event that conditions change. Again, as noted above, have quick access to weather reports and/or your weather radio.

Tornado Warning: A tornado has been seen and confirmed either on radar or by storm spotters. The tornado is occurring NOW or is imminent. You need to take precautions, and/or take cover immediately if you are in the area of a confirmed tornado.

Tornado Rating Information: A tornado will receive a rating based on its wind speed. The Enhanced-Fujita (EF) Intensity Scale is as follows:


EF-0 Wind Speeds 65-85 mph
EF-1 Wind Speeds 86-110 mph
EF-2 Wind Speeds 111-135 mph
EF-3 Wind Speeds 136-165 mph
EF-4 Wind Speeds 166-200 mph
EF-5 Wind Speeds Over 200 mph


For more information about severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, please click here to visit the Storm Encyclopedia on the Weather Channel's website. Be sure to check out "Know Your Weather: Part 2" when we'll share information regarding tropical storms and hurricanes.

Disclaimer: Practips provides this for informational purposes only, and cannot be substituted for the advice of the National Weather Service or your local authorities should severe weather occur in your area. 

Thanks for following Practips!

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