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What is a tornado warning?

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Quick Answer

A tornado warning is an alert issued by the National Weather Service indicating that a tornado has been seen on the ground or identified on radar. The warning is broadcast through television, radio and outdoor sirens.

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What is a tornado warning?
Credit: OAR/ERL/National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) CC-BY 2.0

Full Answer

Tornado warnings issued for one or more counties usually indicates those areas are in imminent danger from the storm. The warnings inform people to take immediate shelter in a basement or a room without windows, such as a bathroom.

A tornado warning is different from a tornado watch, which signals that conditions are ripe for the possible formation of tornadoes. Tornado warnings are usually accompanied by severe thunderstorm warnings.

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