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Knowing the difference: Tornado warning v.s. tornado watch

Posted at 4:44 PM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 18:12:12-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Tornado watches were issued for several of our counties in South Georgia on Wednesday, and more-severe weather is on the way.

With the potential for strong to severe storms back in the Forecast and a First Alert Weather day issued for Thursday, it's never a bad time to review the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning.

We've already seen tornado watches issued across the Big Bend in North Florida and south Georgia, typically getting a lead time of hours before the event.

That means that environmental conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms capable of producing tornadoes.

What you need to do under a watch is stay weather aware, make sure you have a plan in place and you know where your safe place is.

That's going to be the lowest, smallest most interior room of your house as possible, typically a closet or a bathroom, putting as many walls between you and the outside as possible.

If you're issued a tornado warning then it's time to go to your safe place. That means a tornado is imminent and it's been spotted by a trained storm spotter or detected by rotation on radar.

Lead time for rotation for tornado warnings is minutes.

So make sure you have a plan in place and make sure you have reliable ways to get watches and warnings. You can download the Storm Shield app on your cell phone, that will push all alerts to you over the next few days before the weather clears out again for this week.