A WARNING, on the other hand, requires more immediate action and should be taken seriously. A tornado warning can be thought of as a very specific severe thunderstorm warning, and means that a tornado has been either spotted by a human observer or indicated by doppler radar. A severe thunderstorm warning indicates that severe weather is imminent in your area or is already occurring (based on either human observation or doppler radar). A WATCH means that the potential exists for the development of severe thunderstorms or tornadoes, depending upon the specific type of watch issued.

With this knowledge of watches and warnings, you will be better prepared the next time severe weather threatens your area. Although these storms can also be associated with dangerous cloud to ground lightning or heavy rainfall that is capable of causing flash flooding, neither of these two items serve as criteria for a severe thunderstorm warning being issued.
Similarly, a severe thunderstorm watch means that conditions are just conducive for the development of severe weather, and DOES NOT indicate that severe weather has been reported. While no immediate action on the part of the general public is required for the issuance of a watch, citizens should keep up to date on the current weather situation and be prepared to seek shelter if necessary.

School disaster response plan
Floods facts and figures
Survival kit earthquake list


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