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SEVERE WEATHER WEEK: Watches & Warnings
Each year severe weather rolls across the Midwest, interrupting normal activities, damaging property, and posing a threat to life. Your best defense against severe weather is to be both prepared and informed.
When severe weather is expected, the National Weather Service will issue severe thunderstorm or tornado watches & warnings.
It is important to know the difference between a watch & a warning so you know what actions are needed.
A WATCH means "watch the sky". Watches are usually issued a few hours before severe weather is expected to occur.
It gives advance notice when conditions are favorable for the development of severe weather.
So "WATCH" the skies for developing storms and changing weather conditions.
A WARNING is issued when severe weather is imminent or actually occurring.
It means the situation is potentially life-threatening and you should take action immediately to protect yourself and your family.
When a warning is issued, the outdoor warning sirens may be activated. The purpose of the sirens is to alert people who are outdoors that something dangerous is happening and they should go inside. Depending on your county's policy, sirens may be sounded for a variety of life-threatening hazards. In Linn County, the sirens are sounded for tornadoes, winds higher than 70 mph, and hail larger than an inch in diameter.
You should check with your local authorities to determine when your county sirens will be activated.
Whether you're indoors or outdoors during a storm, you can know what's coming by signing up for severe weather text alerts on our website.
Another indoor warning tool is a NOAA weather radio. Like a smoke detector, the weather radio waits in standby mode until a warning is issued.
As soon as the National Weather Service issues a warning, whether day or night, the weather radio will sound an alarm warning people to take action.Severe weather will happen, and eventually it will affect you in some way. Everyone should have basic knowledge of severe weather safety.
Knowing what to do or where to go when severe weather threatens can be the difference between life and death.