Perhaps one of the best means of safety is always being prepared. This involves keeping yourself informed about changing weather conditions. The National Weather Service uses specific terms that denotes the severity of a pending storm. The same terms are then used by the meteorologists.
Satellites carry cameras which beams pictures back to earth about cloud and moisture formation above, and snow and ice below to observation stations on the ground. The meteorologist collects this valuable information, analyses and maps it, and uses it to inform the public about what type of weather to expect. Unfortunately, if a tornado is going to occur, meteorologists usually can only alert us about eighteen to thirty six hours in advance (short range forecast). Radar is also used to track severe storms. One type of radar, called doppler, is very helpful because it can indicate the location and possible path the tornado will take as well at the wind speed.
Generally speaking, when weather forecasts are issued, they contain information on the type of weather (ie. is it sunny, cold, or boating or farming conditions). However, when an advisory bulletin is issued their are two important terms used that we should all be familiar with. These are "watch" and "warning" and are valuable in preparing us for a pending storm. A watch, when it applies to a tornado, means that the conditions are right and the odds are good for one to form. A warning means that a tornado is in progress, and that you must get into shelter immediately.
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