SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WWLP) – Severe weather season starts now. So you should be familiar with some of the terms both the 22News Storm Team and the National Weather Service use. If you’ve ever heard of a severe thunderstorm, that means a storm has winds of at least 58 mph and/or hail an inch or larger in diameter. But watch out for the difference between a severe thunderstorm watch, and a warning.
The primary difference between a severe weather watch versus a warning is the watch means the ingredients are there for severe weather, but it is not currently happening. A warning, however, means severe weather is ongoing or immediately imminent.
And locals who have seen severe thunderstorm warnings on their phone, have taken action in the past.
“I kind of just go inside and find something else to do,” Rachael Shannon from Holyoke told 22News.
“Probably…Especially if it’s–if I see the lightning. Nah I’m good being inside,” Bradley Zweir explained.
For tornadoes, it’s the same thing. A tornado watch means the environment is able to produce a tornado, but hasn’t yet. A warning will be issued once rotation is indicated on radar, or if one is reported.
It’s similar for flash flooding, a flood which is caused by excessive rainfall in a short period of time. A flood advisory means urban and small-stream flooding is occurring, but the flooding is generally only an inconvenience and not life-threatening like during a flood warning.