Radar Loop with Convective Outlook and Current Watches - Courtesy of NOAA
NOAA

Explanation:

This map will help you plan for severe weather in your area. It shows the current mesoscale analysis for the Continental United States from NOAA's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma. Radar information is updated every 15 minutes and is displayed here in a looped image.

Areas within the orange arrow lines have some convective potential. Areas within the green arrow lines have more convective potential and a "slight" chance of severe weather. Red arrow lines highlight areas of greatest severe weather potential.

Areas within the blue and red boxes are under severe thunderstorm or tornado watches. When a warning is issued, the counties affected will be highlighted in color.

Also displayed on this map is the NEXRAD loop of radar observations. Lighter precipitation is shown in green, moderate in yellow and heavy in red.


Current Watches - Courtesy of NOAA
NOAA

Explanation:
This is a map of current watch areas over the Continental United States. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma usually issues watches for a six-hour period for areas of severe weather potential. When conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, winter storms or floods, watches are posted. Watches cover many counties and sometimes multiple states. Warnings are issued by local National Weather Service offices when severe weather is imminent or occurring. Warnings usually cover one or two counties for a period of less than one hour.


Watch and Warning Definitions:

Watch
A "Watch" indicates a higher probability of the development of severe weather. Severe Thunderstorm or Tornado Watches are issued by the NOAA's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma for multiple counties or states for about six hours.

Warning
A "Warning" indicates severe weather is imminent or occurring. Warnings are issued by local National Weather Service offices based on Doppler radar reflectivity or storm spotter reports. A typical tornado or severe thunderstorm warning is issued for one or two counties for a period of less than one hour.


Here are some of the more common Advisories, Watches and Warnings issued by NWS:

Wind Advisory
- Sustained winds of 25 - 39 mph or gusts up to 57 mph

High Wind Watch
- Expected sustained winds of up to 40 mph, or
- Wind gusts exceeding 57 mph

High Wind Warning
- Sustained winds of up to 40 mph, or
- Wind gusts in excess of 57 mph
- Caution should be taken when driving high-profile vehicles

Wind Chill Advisory
- Wind chill temperatures of -30 F to -35 F or below

Flash-Flood Watch
- Heavy rains that may result in flash-flooding in the specified area
- Be alert and prepared for the possibility of a flash-flood emergency requiring immediate action

Flash-Flood Warning
- Flash-flooding is occurring or is imminent in the specified area
- Move to a safe area immediately


Severe Thunderstorm Watch
- Conditions favorable for thunderstorms with:
- Winds in excess of 57 mph and
- 0
.75 (3/4) inch or greater diameter hail

Severe Thunderstorm Watches are issued by the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma. They usually cover large parts of states or multiple states for a period of six hours or more.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning
Severe thunderstorms have been confirmed by radar and/or sighted by spotters.
- Large Hail (3/4 inch diameter or greater)
- Damaging Winds (58 mph or greater)


Tornado Watch
Conditions favorable for tornado development in a specified area during a specified time period.

Tornado Watches are issued by the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma. They cover large parts of states, or multiple states for a period of six hours.

Tornado Warning
Tornadoes have been confirmed by radar and/or sighted by spotters.

Snow Advisory
- Snowfall of 2" or more in 12 hours or
- Snowfall of 3" or more in 24 hours

Keep in mind that "Snowfall" is not the same as "Snow Depth". Snowfall is the actual amount of snow that has fallen, not including melting or compression. Snow depth is the actual amount of snow on the ground, including melting and compression. Snow advisories are usually issued for non-mountainous areas.

Winter Storm Warning
- Snowfall of 4" or more in 12 hours or
- Snowfall of 6" or more in 24 hours

In areas where snowfall is less frequent, a Winter Storm Warning may be issued for lesser amounts.

Blizzard Warning
- Winds of 35 mph or greater
- Falling or blowing snow
- Visibility of less than 1/4 mile

Dense Fog Advisory
- Visibility of less than 1/4 mile

In fog-prone areas, a Dense Fog Advisory may be issued when visibility is less than 1/8 mile.

Hurricane Watch
Issued when a hurricane or tropical storm is expected to threaten coastal areas in the next 24 - 48 hours. Be prepared to take action.

Hurricane Warning
- A hurricane or tropical storm is expected to make landfall in the specified area in the next 24 hours.
- Wind speeds in excess of 74 mph (64 knots)


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