This week is Severe Weather Awareness Week.
We’ve had a lot of severe weather already in this early spring season and our Accuweather.com Meteorologist Heather Zehr offers this advice.
“The big thing to remember is that it happens every year, we just have to go through and make our general precautions and make sure that we stay alert,” urges Heather. “We need to pay attention when those watches, and especially those warnings are coming out in any given storm situation.”
We may hear the term “watch” during a weather forecast at any time and Heather reminds us what that means.
“A watch simply means that conditions are possible for whatever the watch category is. If we have a severe thunderstorm watch, that means that there is a possibility for severe thunderstorms to occur. A tornado watch means that if a severe thunderstorm occurs, conditions are right that we could get some tornadoes.”
Then there’s the one term that we really have to be listening for and that’s “warning”.
“That means something is actually happening – something specific that you’re being warned about. In the case of a severe thunderstorm warning, it means there is a severe thunderstorm out there and it’s going to be in the areas that you’ll hear mentioned the warning. If you hear a tornado warning, a tornado has either been indicated by Doppler Radar or has actually been spotted by a member of the public and that’s what we’re warning about. There is a tornado or an imminent possibility of a tornado.”