Do You Know Difference?
This week has been proclaimed Severe Weather Awareness Week in Colorado.
The National Weather Service is using this opportunity to remind the public of severe weather safety and encourage them to devise preparedness plans before storm season gets fully under way.
Although storms can happen any time of year, typically May through July is when Colorado sees the most severe weather. The warmth during the summer months helps to fuel bouts of violent weather. On average, 50 tornadoes occur per year in Colorado.
The warning process from the National Weather Services aims to keep the public safe when the weather turns threatening. This is done by sending information to media outlets such as 7NEWS. Oftentimes, you will see a “crawl” of text on the bottom of your screen with such information. This is the most common way to broadcast watches and warnings.
Although the words sound similar, “watches” and “warnings” reference different levels of urgency.
A severe thunderstorm or a tornado watch means that severe weather or tornadoes are likely within the next 6 hours. This comes with a geometric shape outlining a broad area of counties that are included in the watch area. Residents in and around the watch box are encouraged to keep their NOAA weather radio
close by and have a plan for where to seek shelter if threatening weather becomes imminent.
When severe weather is occurring, a “warning” is then issued. A severe thunderstorm is classified by
- Winds over 58 mph
- Hail over one inch in diameter
Warnings are more urgent, and they mean to take cover immediately. A warning will be issued for a smaller area, like a county, where the threat is greatest.
A tornado warning means a tornado or funnel cloud has been spotted, either by a person on the ground or by radar.
You can keep up to date on the latest watches and warnings by staying tuned to 7NEWS and the 24/7 Weather Center. We always air severe thunderstorm and tornado alerts by cutting into programming or running a text alert at the bottom of the screen. When you are away from your TV, check in often with TheDenverChannel.com and the 24/7 Weather Center’s Facebook
Another option is to enroll in email
alerts to notify you when a watch or warning is posted for your area.
Check back for more severe weather topics in the next few days as Severe Weather Awareness Week continues.
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More Safety Info:
- Severe Weather Awareness Week
- Severe Weather Awareness Week: Tornado Safety
- Experimental Severe Weather Warnings Project
- Experts use severe weather awareness week, tornado drills as danger reminder
- Severe Weather Preparedness Week in Illinois – WREX