LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — It might not seem like it, with the cooler temperatures that mid-Michigan has going on, but we are still in severe weather season.
But with severe weather watches and warnings, it can be a bit confusing to know the difference between the two.
6 News meteorologist Kendall Wilson used a taco analogy to better explain it.
“So let’s say that we have our ground beef, cheese, salsa and all those lovely other ingredients. Everything is on the stove, ready to be put together, but we don’t have our tacos yet,” said Wilson. “They are just sitting there waiting to be made, this is our weather watch.”
So even though all of the “ingredients” for severe weather are there, there’s no guarantee that those tacos are going to get made.
“Same thing applies in real weather terms. No severe thunderstorm or tornado yet, but we should be monitoring the situation because the conditions for these to form are in place,” Wilson continued.
The National Weather Service typically issues warnings for several counties and they can stay in effect for four hours or more. Warnings are also given out in advance before storms begin.
When the tacos are all put together and ready to be eaten, that is a warning.
Warnings are issued whenever storms are active and are usually for smaller areas. They can last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
But what if the storm continues producing severe conditions? The warnings can be extended.
So, when a severe weather warning appears on your phone or it shows up on the TV, that is the time to take action.
Additionally, it’s important to note that tornado warnings are slightly different.
Sometimes, thunderstorms can show rotation, so warnings for those storms happen sooner rather than later, so that people can take appropriate precautions.
To hear Kendall’s hunger-inducing analogy in depth, watch the video in the player above.