Gary England’s Tornado Alley – Severe Weather Watches & Warnings

[dramatic music plays]>>Gary England: Very simply put, severe weather
watches and warnings are quite good in most cases. If you’re paying attention, they’re
really good. The information is timely and if you’re staying weather aware and you know
your safety precautions, you will be just fine. And keep in mind: all official warnings,
official warnings of tornadoes, come from the National Weather Service. Not some other
person you hear some way, they originate with the National Weather Service. When a watch – a
tornado watch is issued, it means just that. Watch out, it may or may not happen. Basically,
the watch is alerting you to the possibility of a tornado or severe weather. So keep that
in mind, keep your plan. The Storm Prediction Center here in Norman, Oklahoma issues the
severe weather watches: flash flood, tornadoes, whatever it may be, they do. A warning is
issued when severe weather is indicated by radar or has been reported to be in progress.
This is the time when you take shelter from the storm; when there’s a warning. The most important information for you that comes from
a warning – what is it they’re warning you about? What is it, where is it, direction
it’s moving, the speed it’s moving. What time will it arrive near you? That’s all
pretty simple stuff. Always keep in mind there is very little guessing in producing warnings
in this day and age. The severe weather message decisions are made by highly educated and
highly trained personnel at the Storm Prediction Center and the National Weather Service. So
you really, you have really good, advanced storm information coming in; you just have
to stay weather aware. You have to know what to do. If you’re not paying attention, you’re
going to get caught. So you have time, pay attention. You’ll have time
to act on that information with a plan. Where do you get your information? It’s
around everywhere; get the best. But you need a National Weather Service weather radio.
That’s easy. They’re around; they don’t cost much. The National Weather Service wireless
phone warning app, that’s great. National Weather Service Twitter – don’t depend
on Twitter and Facebook to warn you before. Sometimes that’s kind of a history lesson.
Keep that in mind. Media warning apps are usually pretty good on the iPhones and the
iPads. Most of them are supplied by the same suppliers. So you got one, you’ll get the same
thing the other one’s getting. And of course you’re using commercial television and commercial
radio. So those are your sources in general, and a phone call is usually very important
too for someone that knows what’s going on. They call you, say, “Take shelter,”
activate your plan. As you may have gathered through this course, the main items that keep
you safe are staying weather aware well before the storm. Nowadays we know a day ahead
of time, usually, if they’re coming. Have a tornado plan of action for you and your
family. You have to know your safety precautions; they’re not that difficult. And have a secure
tornado shelter for you and your family.

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