As the warmth of spring envelops the Eastern United States, the threat for strong and severe thunderstorms also increases. Because of this, the week of March 21-27 has been declared Severe Weather Awareness Week in the State of Ohio. Ohio is prone to a variety of Severe Weather including violent wind storms, large hail, flash floods and tornados. Fortunately, the National Weather Service is committed to providing forecasts and timely warnings for impending severe weather.
Severe Weather Awareness Week provides the perfect opportunity to review severe weather safety and to review the terminology used by the National Weather Service. During a typical severe weather season, the National Weather Service will issue hundreds of advisories, watches and warnings across Ohio. But what do these terms mean?
- ADVISORY: A weather advisory means a less dangerous weather event is imminent and is less severe than a warning. However, a hazardous weather event is still threatening to occur.
- WATCH: A weather watch means the potential or conditions exist for a dangerous weather event.
- WARNING: A weather warning means that a dangerous weather event is imminent. Immediate action must be taken to protect life and property.
It is important to remember that severe weather can be unpredictable. When you are engaging in outdoor activities this spring and summer, remember to keep an eye to the sky and be prepared to move indoors at a moments notice. Watch for dark clouds and listen for thunder. Both can be signs of approaching storms.