Storm Season: Be Prepared

During this time of year we never know what kinds of weather we will see.  If it important to know terms associated with severe weather.  Post in your home and share with family members.  Families should have a plan of where to go and practice the plan.  Review these terms with your family:

A WATCH  indicates that conditions are favorable for the particular weather event in and near the Watch area, and which may pose a risk to life and property. Watches are issued up to 48 hours in advance with forecaster confidence around 50%.

a WARNING indicates that a particular weather event is imminent or occurring.

Advisories are issued if the weather event will lead to nuisance conditions, while Warnings are issued for significant weather events which will pose a risk to life and property. Warnings and Advisories are issued up to 48 hours in advance with forecaster confidence of at least 80%.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning
Issued when there is evidence based on radar or a reliable spotter report that a thunderstorm is producing, or about to produce, wind gusts of 58 mph or greater, structural wind damage, and/or hail 1 inch in diameter or greater.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch
Is issued by the Storm Prediction Center when conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms over a larger-scale region. Tornadoes are not expected in such situations, but isolated tornado development cannot be ruled out.

Tornado Watch
Is issued by the Storm Prediction Center when conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes over a larger-scale region.  During a watch keep a close look at the sky and be ready to take cover if a warning is issued.
Tornado Warning
Issued when there is evidence based on radar or a reliable spotter report that a tornado is imminent or occurring.
This means a tornado has been sighted and to take cover immediately.  Sirens many times will sound when a warning is issued.  Go to the lower level of the home or building or to an interior room with no windows.

Significant Weather Advisory
Issued for strong thunderstorms that are below severe levels, but still may have some adverse impacts. Usually issued for the threat of wind gusts of 40-58 mph or hail up to 1 inch in diameter.

Flash Flood Watch

Issued generally when there is the possibility of flash flooding or urban flooding over an area within the next 36 hours.

Flash Flood Warning
Issued when flash flooding is imminent, generally within the next 1 to 3 hours. Usually issued based on observed heavy rainfall (measured or radar estimated), but may also be issued for significant dam breaks that have occurred or are imminent.

Lorene Bartos, Extension Educator
Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County

 

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