Stay Informed Before the Storm

NOAA Weather Service

Listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, and television for the latest tornado watches and warnings. When conditions are favorable for severe weather to develop, a severe thunderstorm or tornado watch is issued. Weather Service personnel use information from weather radar, spotters, and other sources to issue severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings for areas where severe weather is imminent.

Severe thunderstorm warnings are passed to local radio and television stations and are broadcast over local NOAA Weather Radio stations serving the warned areas. These warnings are also relayed to local emergency management and public safety officials who can activate local warning systems to alert communities.

About NOAA Weather Radios

The National Weather Service continuously broadcasts updated weather warnings and forecasts that can be received by NOAA Weather Radios sold in many stores. The average range is 40 miles, depending on topography. Your National Weather Service recommends purchasing a radio that has both a battery backup and a tone-alert feature which automatically alerts you when a watch or warning is issued.

What to Listen For

  • Tornado Watches - Tornadoes are possible in your area. Remain alert for approaching storms.
  • Tornado Warnings - A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. If a tornado warning is issued for your area and the sky becomes threatening, move to your pre-designated place of safety.
  • Severe Thunderstorm Watch - Severe thunderstorms are possible in your area.
  • Severe Thunderstorm Warning - Severe thunderstorms are occurring.

Remember, tornadoes occasionally develop in areas in which a severe thunderstorm watch or warning is in effect. Remain alert to signs of an approaching tornado and seek shelter if threatening conditions exist.