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Weather Facts: Difference between a watch and a warning

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Storm season is here! So what determines when a storm can reach severe status? We'll talk about the difference between a watch and a warning.

Here in Central Texas we get an average of 40 to 50 storm days a year.

The peak time for severe weather happens between April and June.

Severe weather doesn't always mean tornadoes. In fact, tornadoes are rare and only 3 percent of all storms produce them. A storm is classified severe when hailstones reach 1 inch in diameter or larger, winds increase at least to 58 mph or a tornado is spotted. The national weather service did increase the hail size that triggers a severe thunderstorm warning. They did this so they can cut down on warnings plus damage shows up only when the hailstone reaches the size of a quarter.

When a severe storm watch is issued it means that conditions are conducive for severe storms to form in the next few hours. A warning is issued when a severe storm has been observed by spotters or indicated on radar.

When a tornado watch is issued you need to prepare and be alert because tornadoes could form in a few hours. If you here tornado warning for your area, seek shelter immediately because a twister has been sighted by spotters or indicated on radar.

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