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severe weather outlook - get your personalized outlook

severe weather warnings


Read the Watch vs. Warning Overview


Watch vs. Warning Overview

The most important distinction: Watches mean start keeping an eye on the weather and on local weather and news sources. Warnings mean do something NOW.

Watches are for a severe weather threat that is expected in the next few hours. Warnings are for threats that are happening NOW.

Watches are issued for large areas based on a predicted threat. Warnings are issued for much smaller areas based on a specific storm cell's path.

What to do when there's a warning

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM lightning, hail, and damaging winds are the biggest threat. Move indoors and stay away from windows. You may also choose to treat it as a tornado warning as the winds can produce tornado like destruction and tornadoes can and do form in areas that are "only" under a severe thunderstorm warning.

TORNADO get to the lowest level possible and put as many walls between you and the outside as possible. If you are in a vehicle, DO NOT take shelter under a highway overpass - wind speeds are dramatically increased underneath.

FLASH FLOOD move to higher ground if you are in a low lying area. DO NOT drive through flooded areas. It takes a disturbingly small amount of water to carry your vehicle away.

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TORNADO warnings, SEVERE THUNDERSTORM warnings, and FLASH FLOOD warnings are the warnings that are covered on this page. For all other warnings, visit the warnings map on weather.gov


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