SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Monday marks the beginning of Severe Weather Awareness Week for western Massachusetts; a time to think about how to stay safe before disaster strikes.
We get the majority of severe weather in western Massachusetts during the late spring and into summer the summer, so now is the perfect time to prepare, and understand the difference between a watch or warning that can be issued for severe thunderstorms or tornadoes.
A " watch" is more of a caution that severe weather could potentially come within the next few hours. A watch for tornadoes or severe thunderstorms means you should have a weather safety plan in mind should the weather get worse.
Keeping an eye on 22News on air, online, or on social media is a good way to be aware of bad weather. Anthony Gragowski of Springfield says that he keeps on top of the situation during severe weather.
"We do kind of have a family plan and we also rely on other family members as well. But I'm usually into social media, so I pay attention to all the warnings and alerts and watches as well," Gragowski said.
If a severe thunderstorm warning or tornado warning is issued for your area, then conditions are much more serious. A " warning" means dangerous weather is imminent or already occurring, and you should head inside, away from windows immediately.
For a thunderstorm to be severe, it must contain either hail of at least one inch in diameter or wind gusts over 58 mph.
Of course this spring and summer, the 22News Storm Team will keep you safe and let you know of any watches or warnings.