What severe and tornado watches and warnings mean - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

What severe and tornado watches and warnings mean

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When a Tornado Warning is issued, take immediate action When a Tornado Warning is issued, take immediate action
NWS Criteria for issuing a Severe Thunderstorm Warning NWS Criteria for issuing a Severe Thunderstorm Warning
La Crosse, WI (WXOW) -     April and May signal the start of our severe weather season. Meteorologists will track increasing heat, humidity, wind shear, and the fronts, and other triggers in the atmosphere that come together to build powerful and potentially dangerous thunderstorms.
 To help keep you safe, here are some terms you should know:

    The National Weather Service will put out Hazardous Weather Outlooks a few days in advance, giving out slight, moderate, or high risk. you should take note and watch the forecasts.

    Once the conditions for severe weather are in place, usually a few hours before, the storm prediction center in Norman, Oklahoma will issue either a severe thunderstorm watch, or a tornado watch for a region or a state. Typically, they are in effect for a 6 hour period or until expired after the threat has passed. Go on about your business, but be alert for rapidly developing storms with larch hail, damaging winds, or more rarely, tornadoes.

    Then local national weather service offices monitor and issue warnings.

    A severe thunderstorm warning is issued if a severe thunderstorm is imminent or radar is indicating a storm producing hail 1" or larger, damaging wind gusts 58 mph or greater, or perhaps even a tornado with little warning.
   
    A tornado warning is issued if a tornado or funnel cloud is spotted or if radar strongly indicates one.

    National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist Todd Shea says that warnings mean you need to take immediate action. "It ranges from just no lead time to quite a bit: maybe 20 minutes or so. So, what we try to do is give people enough lead time so they can take action."

    These types of warnings are issued for 30 to 60 minutes for a county or parts of a county. that is the time to act to stay safe! Get to know beforehand what you should do in different circumstances.

    In general, most injuries occur form flying of falling debris. the key is to get under or away from this debris. The safest place to be when severe weather strikes is an interior room on the lowest floor away from windows. Take cover under something sturdy and cover yourself with blankets.





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