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Severe Weather Awareness Week: Terminology

6:18 PM, Mar 5, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND - This week is Severe Weather Awareness Week across Ohio.

WKYC Severe Weather Guide (pdf): http://on.wkyc.com/WKYCSevereWeatherGuide

Each day this week, the National Weather Service will bring you information about severe weather in Ohio and what you can do before, during and after a storm.

Our topic for today...severe weather terminology.

WITH SEVERE WEATHER SEASON RAPIDLY APPROACHING...IT IS A GOOD IDEA TO
REFRESH YOUR MEMORY IN REGARD TO SEVERE WEATHER TERMINOLOGY. IN
OHIO...THE PEAK TORNADO SEASON RUNS FROM APRIL THROUGH MID JULY WITH
MOST TORNADOES OCCURRING BETWEEN 2 PM AND 10 PM. JUNE HAS BEEN
HISTORICALLY THE MOST ACTIVE MONTH FOR TORNADOES. HOWEVER...MANY OF
OHIO`S MOST DEVASTATING TORNADO OUTBREAKS HAVE OCCURRED IN APRIL AND
MAY. TORNADOES AND SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS HAVE OCCURRED IN ALL MONTHS.

THE TERM...WATCH...WHEN USED WITH TORNADO OR SEVERE THUNDERSTORM MEANS
THAT TORNADOES OR SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS ARE POSSIBLE. WATCHES USUALLY ARE
IN EFFECT FOR SEVERAL HOURS AND INDICATE THAT ATMOSPHERIC CONDITIONS ARE
FAVORABLE FOR SEVERE STORMS TO DEVELOP. WHEN A WATCH IS IN EFFECT...YOU
SHOULD KEEP YOUR EYE TO THE SKY AND MAKE PLANS FOR WHAT YOU NEED TO DO
IF SEVERE WEATHER OCCURS.

THE TERM...WARNING...MEANS THAT EITHER A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM OR TORNADO
IS EMINENT OR IS ALREADY OCCURRING. WARNINGS ARE USUALLY IN EFFECT FOR
1 HOUR OR LESS. IF A WARNING IS ISSUED FOR YOUR AREA...TAKE ACTION
IMMEDIATELY.

A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM...IS ANY THUNDERSTORM THAT PRODUCES WINDS OF 58
MPH OR MORE AND/OR HAIL OF 1 INCH IN DIAMETER OR MORE.

A TORNADO...IS A VIOLENTLY ROTATING COLUMN OF AIR IN CONTACT WITH THE
GROUND. THE FUNNEL USUALLY DESCENDS FROM THE BASE OF A SEVERE
THUNDERSTORM. THEY ARE USUALLY WEDGE SHAPED WITH THE NARROWEST END AT
THE GROUND. TORNADO WITNESSES HAVE HEARD A "ROARING" SOUND SIMILAR TO A
FREIGHT TRAIN.

A FUNNEL CLOUD...IS A VIOLENTLY ROTATING COLUMN OF AIR THAT DESCENDS
FROM THE RAIN FREE BASE OF A THUNDERSTORM...BUT IT DOES NOT MAKE CONTACT
WITH THE GROUND. A TORNADO USUALLY PASSES THROUGH THE FUNNEL CLOUD STAGE
DURING ITS DEVELOPMENT AND DISSIPATION. NOT ALL FUNNEL CLOUDS BECOME
TORNADOES...BUT YOU SHOULD STILL TAKE COVER IF ONE APPROACHES.

WKYC-TV/NWS

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