As Louisiana often finds itself in the path of severe weather it is important for residents and visitors alike to understand the difference between a Tornado Watch and a Tornado Warning. The distinction between these two alerts can significantly affect how you prepare for and respond to potential tornadoes, ensuring that you and your loved ones remain safe.

What is a Tornado Watch?

Andrew Seamar, Unsplash
Andrew Seamar, Unsplash
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A Tornado Watch is essentially a heads-up from the National Weather Service indicating that tornadoes are possible within the designated watch area. Think of it as a "be prepared" signal. During a Tornado Watch, you should review your emergency plans, check your emergency supplies, and identify your safe room.

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The goal is to be ready to act quickly if the situation escalates. A watch covers a broad area, often spanning several counties or even entire states, signaling that conditions are right for tornadoes to form. It's issued by the Storm Prediction Center and serves as a precautionary measure, urging those in the affected area to stay alert and be prepared to move to safety if necessary.

What is a Tornado Warning?

A Tornado Warning, on the other hand, is an urgent "take action" alert indicating that a tornado has been sighted or detected by radar. It means there is imminent danger to life and property within the warning area. When a Tornado Warning is issued, you should immediately move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building, away from windows.

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Greg Johnson, Unsplash
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If you're in a mobile home, vehicle, or outside, seek shelter in a substantial building. A Tornado Warning covers a much smaller area compared to a watch, typically the size of a city or small county, and is issued by your local forecast office. It's a clear signal that a tornado is either occurring or about to occur, and taking immediate action is vital for your safety.

Why This Matters

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Greg Johnson, Unsplash
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Understanding the difference between a Tornado Watch and a Warning is critical for effectively responding to severe weather threats—especially here in Louisiana. By knowing what each alert signifies, you can make informed decisions about your safety and the safety of those around you.

Greg Johnson, Unsplash
Greg Johnson, Unsplash
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Remember, a Tornado Watch means to be prepared and stay informed, while a Tornado Warning means to take immediate action to protect life and property. Always keep our station app handy during severe weather seasons, and never underestimate the power of being prepared.

Stay safe, Louisiana!

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Gallery Credit: KATELYN LEBOFF

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