Understanding the Difference Between a Tornado Watch and a Tornado Warning

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States in the central and eastern parts of the U.S. are gearing up for severe weather on Tuesday as a major storm system makes its way across the region. The Ohio and Tennessee valleys are at the highest risk for flash floods, long-track tornadoes, and large hail, especially in the afternoon and evening.

In the aftermath of this storm system, over 100,000 households in Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee were left without power. The risk of tornadoes is a concern for millions, highlighting the importance of understanding the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning.

A tornado watch is issued when tornadoes are possible in and near the specified area. This alert is typically issued by the National Weather Service for counties where tornadoes may occur, covering a large region. It is important to be prepared and ready to take action if a tornado warning is issued or if you believe a tornado is approaching.

On the other hand, a tornado warning is a more urgent alert indicating that a tornado has been sighted or detected by weather radar. These warnings are issued by local forecast offices and cover a smaller area than a tornado watch. If a tornado warning is issued, it means there is imminent danger to life and property, and immediate action is required.

It is crucial to seek shelter in an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building and avoid windows during a tornado warning. If you are in a mobile home, vehicle, or outdoors, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris.

It is always important to stay informed and prepared for severe weather events, understanding the difference between these alerts can help keep you and your loved ones safe.

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