A few severe
thunderstorm warnings have already been issued for Oklahoma and are making
their way towards Green Country. These storms are not a part of the main event
that we’ve been talking about for several days at FOX 23.
Going into the event
tonight – I wanted to remind everyone across Oklahoma (and other portions of
the country that follow this page) what the differences between a WATCH and a
Watches are issued
before Warnings, normally. When a watch is issued, whether for a tornado,
severe thunderstorm, flooding, or winter weather, the main take away is,
conditions are favorable for the hazard to happen in the next few hours.
Watches are typically issued a few hours before the storms. When the watch is
first issued, the skies may be the brightest blue without a cloud in the sky,
but the important thing to remember is a watch means that things COULD happen.
Precautions and preparations should be taken at this time. Make sure everyone
knows the plan and knows what could happen.
With severe weather happening across Oklahoma, the important two watches to
remember now are:
When a Severe
Thunderstorm watch is issued, there is a good chance of large hail and damaging
winds within the storm. When this type of watch is issued, you should start
paying attention to the weather and know if storms are near your location or
moving towards you. If they are near you, or on their way, it is time to start
checking weather sources including your Weather Radio and local television
When a Tornado watch is issued, a tornado is possible in the watch area within the next few hours. It
is also important to start paying attention and have a plan when a Tornado
Watch is issued. It is too late to make a plan when a Tornado Warning has been
When a warning is
issued, severe weather has been observed, or is expected in the warning area
within the hour. It is important to remember, when a warning is issued, it is
TOO LATE to make a plan; have a plan beforehand.
Similar to watches, the two warnings we will discuss here are:
Warnings are issued when a thunderstorm has large, damaging hail and/or winds
exceeding 58+ mph. When these types of warnings are issued, make sure to pay
close attention to the wording – they detail what to expect in regards to hail
size and wind speed.
Tornado Warnings are
issued when a tornado has been seen or there are signs of a tornado forming on
radar. When these are issued – IT IS TIME TO PUT THE SAFETY PLAN INTO ACTION.
Small and usually weak
tornadoes can develop very quickly from any thunderstorm, so it is important to
always be cautious and alert any time storms are in the area.
It is important to
remember that tornado warnings CANNOT be issued for every single tornado that
occurs. Sometimes there are smaller tornadoes around a larger tornado that
cannot be seen on radar.
As always, staying weather aware is extremely important. Knowing what is coming
and what to expect can be the difference between coming out alive or not.
When a WATCH is
issued, time to start paying attention and make sure everything is in order
should a warning be issued. When a WARNING is issued, time to put the plan into
action and be seeing shelter.