What is a Tornado Watch?
A Tornado Watch does not mean there is a ongoing tornado. It means that you need to be on the lookout for tornadoes to potentially form, because conditions outside and favorable for tornado development.
Which of the following is the MOST urgent?
A Warning of any kind is the most urgent alert. Seek shelter and safety immediately if you are under a Warning of ANY kind. Generally, the order would be in increasing severity: Outlook -> Advisory -> Watch -> Warning.
You're under a Tornado Warning but you do not have a basement in your home. Where do you go?
A hallway closet or bathroom on the side of your house would be an okay choice if you're running out of time, but the best bet is to put AS MANY WALLS BETWEEN YOU AND THE OUTSIDE AS POSSIBLE. You should also bring a pillow or some kind of cushion to put on top of you, and a bicycle helmet is advised too. DON'T FORGET YOUR PETS! Do NOT go outside, not even to film or video severe weather.
You're under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning. What do you do?
You can survive without telephones and the internet for the duration of a severe thunderstorm! A high percentage of lightning injuries come from electricity surging through phone lines and cables and shocking people. Do NOT discount a severe thunderstorm for just a regular thunderstorm. A lot of times, we get these warnings and not too much happens, but that's because we're usually not in the bullseye of the storm. Very rarely will you take a direct hit from the core of a severe thunderstorm. Most of the time, you will see gusty winds, heavy rain, and cloud-to-ground lightning, but who is to say that the next severe thunderstorm hits you directly and you have large hail falling and busting windows to your home. We all hope this never happens, but you absolutely cannot let your guard down with Severe Thunderstorm Warnings.
Which of the following is the BEST choice to pay attention to for weather information on Severe Weather Days?
The National Weather Service is the best option out of these three. There can often be a delay in getting weather warning to your cell phone, even though these alerts may be the same information you get directly from the NWS. However, the National Weather Service is the most accurate and trustable source. If you chose AWC, I'm flattered :-), but it is impossible for me as one person to be able to cover as many storms as the NWS which will have multiple meteorologists working at once. The first step on Severe Weather Days is to be weather aware and to know what is going on around you at all times.
You are driving during a severe weather day (not recommended) and see a tornado that is heading towards your general location. What do you do?
You need to get out and lay flat on an area of FLAT ground with your hands covering your head. Do NOT get into a ditch. Debris and rubble blown around by damaging winds or tornadoes tends to settle and build up in ditches, meaning you could end up at the bottom of that pile. Also, ditches and low-lying areas are prone to flooding, and rainwater can build up quickly in ditches. Stay as flat as possible and protect your head.
You are outside, see a stroke of lightning, and hear thunder 15 seconds later. The lightning strike was about ____ miles away.
Using the "5 Second Rule," or the "Flash-to-Bang," method, for every 5 seconds that passes, the lightning was an additional mile away. So in this case, 15 seconds passed between the flash of lightning and the clap of thunder, meaning that the lightning was about 3 miles away. (15 divided by 5 = 3 | 15/5 = 3 miles). For reference, 1 second would be 0.2 miles, 5 seconds = 1 mile, 10 seconds = 2 miles, 15 seconds = 3 miles, 30 seconds = 6 miles (anything LESS than this time is unsafe - find shelter immediately. 45 seconds = 9 miles, and 1 minute = 12 miles (this is a relatively safe distance.)