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 04 2022

...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 27th through March 5th 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. 

There is something to mention, and it is a relatively new 
practice (beginning in 2021). As expected wind gusts and hail 
sizes increase, we want to get your attention. There will be 
little commotion surrounding a standard Severe Thunderstorm 
Warning (60 mph winds/one inch hail). However, if 70 to 80 mph 
gusts or golf ball to tennis ball size hail are in the warning, 
it will be tagged as a "considerable" damage threat. For gusts
above 80 mph or baseball size hail or larger, 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 2021...

https://www.weather.gov/media/lzk/StormsOf2021.pdf

$$

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