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First Alert Storm Week - Understanding severe weather warnings

Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 5:44 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - First Alert Storm Week continues here at 6 News, and tonight we’re looking at new information we will be showing during severe storms throughout this severe weather season to make it quicker and easier to assess the threat that storms pose to your home.

When a severe thunderstorm, tornado, or flash flood warning is issued, you’ll see the county and city information pop up right away on your screen. This year, there will be some additional information in that box you see on the side of the map to make it easier to understand what is happening.

Storm Warning Information Box
Storm Warning Information Box(WOWT)

When a severe thunderstorm warning is issued, you will see the expected hail size and wind speed right on the screen, so you know exactly how strong the storm is that is headed your way. On occasion, you may see this tornado possible line. That means the storm may show some rotation, but it’s not currently strong enough for a tornado warning.

Severe Thunderstorm Information
Severe Thunderstorm Information(WOWT)

When a Tornado Warning is issued, look for two very important lines that will appear in the warning box. First, look for the “Source” line. The source will show us if a storm is radar indicated, or if a tornado has been reported on the ground. When a tornado has been spotted, you’ll see that line change to “Observed” letting you know that this is a dangerous situation.

In extreme situations, you may see a line that says “Threat,” followed by “Considerable” or “Catastrophic.” These lines are only used when a large tornado has been confirmed and is moving into a town or city. When this happens, you may hear the national weather service issue a “tornado emergency.” This is again a very rare and extreme situation. A Tornado Emergency will show as a pink box on your screen and means you need to get to underground shelter immediately.

Tornado Warning Information
Tornado Warning Information(WOWT)

As always, remember when a tornado warning is issued, seek shelter immediately, and then look for more information. Keep an eye out for these updated warnings throughout severe weather season!

What to do when a tornado warning is issued
What to do when a tornado warning is issued(WOWT)

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