July 8, 2003

NOAA Home Page - Tornadoes

2024 Note: The original link was, but that is done and this is the closest replacement

So with all of the storms in the area as of late, I thought I would do everyone a service and post some information about tornados. The one thing I cannot find on the site is the difference between a tornado watch and warning, so here goes:

TORNADO WATCH: Conditions are favorable for tornados in the watch area. Watch areas typically cover hundreds of square miles and last for hours. People in the watch area should be aware for rapidily changing conditions.

TORNADO WARNING: A tornado is confirmed on the ground or is confirmed by Dopplar radar. Warnings are typically restricted to single counties and last for about an hour. If you are in the warning area, be aware of the weather around you and prepare to take cover.