National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
 
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Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Little Rock AR
600 AM CST Fri Mar 05 2021

...Todays Topic for Severe Weather Awareness Week is Watches
and Warnings...

The National Weather Service, in cooperation with the Arkansas 
Department of Emergency Management, has proclaimed the week of 
February 28th through March 6th as Severe Weather Awareness Week 
in Arkansas.  

A different topic will be discussed each day, and todays topic 
is watches and warnings. 

Surrounding an event featuring severe thunderstorms, watches 
and warnings are issued to help you prepare for the elements. 

Severe thunderstorms produce damaging straight-line wind gusts 
of 58 mph or greater, quarter size hail or larger, and/or 
tornadoes. 

When conditions are favorable for severe storms, a watch is 
issued by the Storm Prediction Center /SPC/ in Norman, Oklahoma.
SPC is a part of the National Weather Service. 

Watches often encompass a large area, sometimes several states, 
and are valid for roughly six hours. 

When storms develop and are classified as severe, warnings are 
issued by your local National Weather Service office. 

Warnings are posted for one or more counties and are valid for 
an hour or less. 

When severe weather warnings are issued in the future /starting 
April 28th/, there is something to mention. For a standard 
Severe Thunderstorm Warning /60 mph winds and one inch hail/, 
nothing will change. However, if 70 to 80 mph gusts or golf 
ball to tennis ball size hail are in the warning, it will 
result in a thunderstorm damage severity of "considerable". 
For 80+ mph gusts or 2.75+ inch /baseball or larger/ size hail, 
the damage tag will be labeled as "destructive". This tag will 
result in the activation of a Wireless Emergency Alert /WEA/ 
through the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System /IPAWS/, 
and this will go to cell phones within the warning polygon.

With a watch in place, severe storms might happen. When 
warnings are in place, severe storms are happening. 

...Watch and Warning Rules to Follow...

You should be ready to go to a safe place when a watch is in 
effect. Monitor conditions for several hours or until the 
watch expires or is cancelled. 

You should go to your safe place when a warning is in effect. 
Stay put until storms pass and/or the warning expires or is 
cancelled. 

The safest place to be is a safe room or a basement. If these 
are not available, go to an interior room on the lowest floor 
of a house or building. Put as many walls between you and the 
outdoors as possible. 

&&

For a list of all the tornadoes and other significant weather 
events that occurred in 2020...

https://www.weather.gov/media/lzk/StormsOf2020.pdf

$$

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