Storm Season is Upon Morrison’s Cove – Here are Some Tips

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Severe Weather Season is upon us so here’s a recap on what certain
watches and warnings mean and what you should look out for.  Here are some tips by Matthew Berhaupt Moretti.

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH – A severe thunderstorm watch means that the
potential exists for the development of thunderstorms which may produce
large hail or damaging winds. When a watch is issued, you should go
about your normal activities, but keep an eye to the sky and an ear to
the National Weather Service’s weather radio or local radio and
television stations for further updates and possible warnings. The term
severe refers to hail that is dime size, 0.75 inches in diameter or
larger, and/or wind gusts to 58 mph or more. Although lightning can be
deadly it is not a criterion for what the National Weather Service
defines as severe since any ordinary thunderstorm can produce a lot of
lightning. Also, excessive rainfall may lead to flash flooding, but
heavy rain is not a criterion for the term severe. Severe strictly
refers to hail at least 3/4 of an inch in diameter or wind gusts of at
least 58 mph.

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING – A severe thunderstorm warning, on the
other hand, means that a severe thunderstorm is occurring or is imminent
based on doppler radar information. You should move indoors to a place
of safety. Schools should think about delaying departure of buses, and
should take quick action to delay outdoor sports activities, etc. If
hail golf ball size or larger is falling, it indicates that a storm is
very well organized and likely has a rotating updraft. Any storm
producing giant hail should be watched closely for signs of a possible
tornado. 

TORNADO WATCH – It takes a special set of atmospheric conditions to
provide an environment favorable for the development of tornadoes. If
these exist, then a tornado watch will be issued instead of a severe
thunderstorm watch. A tornado watch means that conditions are favorable
for severe thunderstorms, a few of which could produce tornadoes.

TORNADO WARNING –  A tornado warning is the ultimate in severe
warnings, it means that a tornado is either occurring or imminent based
on radar. You should take cover immediately. If your in a car and a
tornado is approaching you, EVACUATE the car and lay in the ditch. This
could save your life. 

All severe thunderstorm or tornado watches are issued by the storm
prediction center in Kansas City Missouri. All severe thunderstorm or
tornado warnings are issued by the National Weather Service office in
State College. 

Photo by Ken on Flickr via Creative Commons License

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