What's the difference between a Tornado Watch and Tornado Warnin - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

What's the difference between a Tornado Watch and Tornado Warning?

A tornado warning was issued for Richland County during the afternoon on Aug. 4 (Source WOIO) A tornado warning was issued for Richland County during the afternoon on Aug. 4 (Source WOIO)
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A tornado warning means conditions are favorable for tornadoes or tornadoes are occurring. The National Weather Service encourages people to move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building during a tornado watch. 

The differences between a Tornado Watch and a Tornado Warning:

  • Tornado Watch:
    • Be prepared.
    • A Tornado Watch means tornadoes are possible in and near the watch area.
    • You should review and discuss emergency plans and check supplies.
    • Review where you safe room is.
    • You should be ready if a warning is issued or if you think a tornado is approaching.
    • Watches are issued by the Storm Prediction Center for counties where tornadoes may occur.
    • The watch area is typically large, it covers numerous counties or even states.
  • Tornado Warning:
    • Take Action.
    • A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar.
    • Imminent danger to life and property.
    • Move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building.
    • Avoid windows.
    • If you are in a mobile home, vehicle or outside, you should move to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris.
    • Warnings are issued by your local forecast office.
    • Warnings typically encompass a much smaller area that may be impacted by a tornado identified by a forecast on radar or trained spotter/law enforcement who is watching the storm.

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