Weather Week: What Is A Warning?

Sheldon, Iowa — This is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Iowa. Each day this week, the National Weather Service is focusing on a different severe weather topic.

Today’s topic is weather warnings.

National Weather Service Sioux Falls Forecast Office Warning Coordination Meteorologist Peter Rogers tells us about warnings.

Emergency management officials advise that the outdoor warning sirens are really only to let people outdoors know about severe weather. And if you’re inside, or traveling down the road, we suggest you listen to our comprehensive severe weather coverage on KIWA.

Rogers says there are three major types of warnings that they issue that are related to summertime severe weather.

National Weather Service officials also want people to know the difference between a watch and a warning.

A WATCH means you should watch the sky to see if anything develops. It is issued when that type of weather is possible in and near the watch area. It does not mean that they will occur. It only means they are possible.

A WARNING means that type of weather has been observed either by eyewitnesses or on radar and either is occurring now or is imminent.

An ADVISORY is like a warning in that it’s about weather that is currently happening, but conditions are less serious.

Weather service officials also want you to know that there is no particular order to what product can be issued when. For instance, a watch does NOT have to be issued before a warning.

Also, prepare yourself and your family for Wednesday’s statewide tornado drill. Outdoor warning sirens will sound in nearly every community in northwest Iowa to test them in preparation for severe weather season. The National Weather Service says when you hear the sirens you should practice your severe weather plan as well, and talk with your family about what you would do in various situations were a tornado warning to be issued — where would you go if you were at work, at school, on the road, and so forth.

Click here for more information about severe weather.

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There will be three performances at 5:00, 7:00, and 9:00 PM at the Sibley-Ocheyedan High School auditorium, Sibley, Iowa.

FREE tickets are available and may be reserved by calling 712-754-2945. Church groups and organizations may request enough tickets for their entire group. Please do not reserve more than you actually need.

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