Common Weather Alerting Terms

Severe Thunderstorm Watch
Severe thunderstorm watch means that conditions are favorable for a severe thunderstorm to develop. Those in or near the watch area should:
  • Be alert for changes in weather conditions.
  • Monitor local radio, television networks, or your weather alert radio for further potential developments.
  • Check for and secure property (patio furniture, etc.) that may be damaged or pose a hazard if severe weather develops suddenly.
  • Consider postponing travel.
Storm cloud - Source: Extremeinstability.com
Tornado Watch
Tornado watch means that conditions are favorable for a tornado to develop. Those in or near the watch area should:
  • Check your preparations for severe weather and take necessary precautions.
  • Be alert for rapid changes in weather conditions.
  • Monitor local radio, television networks, or your weather alert radio.
  • Consider postponing travel.
Severe Thunderstorm Warning
A severe thunderstorm warning means that a thunderstorm is occurring that rates a severe classification. Remember: Though the warning may "only be for a severe storm," by definition severe storms have characteristics that can pose a danger to people and property, including the ability to produce tornadoes at any time.
  • Take cover.
  • Monitor your local radio and television networks for further details.
  • Avoid travel until the warning expires.
Severe Thunderstorm Warning During a Tornado Watch
A severe thunderstorm warning (a severe storm is occurring) with a tornado watch (conditions are right for tornadoes to form) indicate that dangerous weather is occurring and has even greater potential to become even more extreme.
  • Take cover.
  • Monitor weather very closely.
Tornado Warning 
A tornado warning means a tornado has been sighted or indicated by radar and danger is imminent.
  • Take cover immediately!
  • Monitor broadcast for specific hazard information until danger is clear of the area.