Ask Storm Team 11: What is the difference between a tornado watch and warning?


A tornado is defined as a violently rotating column of air reaching the ground.

A Tornado Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes. This is a time to prepare. The Storm Prediction Center issues tornado watches.

A Tornado Warning is issued when a tornado is indicated on radar or spotted by a person. Your local National Weather Service office will issue tornado warnings. Our main local office is in Morristown, TN.

If a warning is issued, you need to take shelter immediately. The safest place is in a basement, or the most interior and lowest level of your home. You want to be away from windows.

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