Written By KBTX PinPoint Weather Intern Andrew Cook
This week is National Severe Weather Preparedness Week! So in preparation for the upcoming spring severe storm season it is important to understand the danger and alerts given for severe weather.
Watch v. Warning
During severe weather season the National Weather Service often issues severe weather watches and warnings, and these different advisories can sometimes be confusing in what the terminology means. These two advisories are extremely different and based upon which is issued that is how you should handle your daily business.
A watch will be issued when conditions for a certain type of weather are favorable. When the National Weather Service issues a Severe Thunderstorm Watch it means that those living in the counties under the watch should be aware that severe weather is possible in their region. Those who are put under a watch should continue about their day to day business, but understand that severe weather is possible later in the day. Similarly, a Tornado watch means that conditions later in the day are favorable for the formation of storms that may produce tornadoes.
A warning is issued when the conditions for a certain type of weather are imminent. When the National Weather Service issues a Severe Thunderstorm Warning it means that a storm is approaching or located in the area warned that contains over an inch in diameter hail and/or 60+ mph wind gusts. When a Warning is issued for your area you should immediately seek shelter because a storm will hit. Similarly when a Tornado Warning is issued it means that meteorologists have detected a storm that is capable or already has produced a tornado. If a Tornado warning is issued where you live all activities should be suspended and you should seek shelter in the interior of a sturdy building away from windows and exterior walls.
How Will I know?
To monitor changing weather conditions it is important to have access to a source of information that will inform you of what watches or warnings have been issued for your area. Below are listed some great resources so that you can get and stay connected to the changing weather.
We here at KBTX monitor the weather constantly and during severe weather you can always count on us to keep you informed on what is going on and what warnings have been issued and what actions you should take.
The National Weather Service website is an amazing resource for information about current watches and warnings issued across the entire country. Here you can also find out day to day forecasts and discussions on what is ahead.
The American Red Cross offers a free online app that can be downloaded for smart phones and tablets that will give an audible alert when a Tornado Warning is issued for your location. This app can be found both on itunes and with Google Play.
iMap Weather Radio is an app that will act just like a traditional weather radio. The app will alert to any severe weather occurring at your location and can give up to date weather information at anytime and anywhere. This app can be found for sale on both itunes and Google Play for $9.99.
Whether you are home during severe weather, at work, school, or just out-and-about, we want to make sure you have the most up-to-date information as quickly as possible. During severe weather, the PinPoint Weather Team will post updates to our website, KBTX.com, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to make sure that you have all the information you need at the click of a mouse or your fingertips by using your smartphone. Below is the list of accounts to follow, so that you can stay connected with changing weather 24/7:
KBTX PinPoint Weather Team
KBTX News 3
Meteorologist Shel Winkley
Meteorologist Kailey Carey
Meteorologist Crystal Ploehn