Severe Weather Education


Watches and Warnings are different

A WATCH means that conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms or tornadoes to develop. These are issued by the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, typically before severe weather is developing.

A WARNING means that a severe thunderstorm or tornado has either been indicated on radar or witnessed by storm spotters firsthand. The local NWS Forecast Office issues these when severe weather is developing or occurring.

Safety Tips

  • Have a plan. Prepare ahead of time so you and your family know what actions to take when severe weather occurs.
  • Get indoors. There is no safe place outdoors during severe weather.
  • Stay informed. When severe weather threatens, stay tuned to NOAA weather radio, local television and radio stations, or the National Weather Service for up-to-date information on the weather situation.


The most common time for tornadoes in our area is during the spring months of March, April and May, with a secondary tornado season of November and December. However, tornadoes can occur at any time of day and at any point during the year, given the right environment.

EF RatingWind SpeedsPotential Damage Threats
EF 065-85 mphLight damage, shallow rooted trees pushed over, some damage to gutters and siding.
EF 186-110mphModerate damage, mobile homes overturned, roof surfaces peeled off.
EF 2111-135mphConsiderable damage, large trees uprooted or snapped, mobile homes destroyed.
EF 3136-165mphSevere damage, trains overturned, well-built homes lose roofs and walls.
EF 4166-200mphDevastating damage, well-built homes leveled, cars thrown.
EF 5Over 200mphIncredible damage, well-built homes disintegrated, automobile-sized objects thrown > 300ft.