Current Watches and Warnings
New York, Schuyler
Public Information Statement
Statement as of 8:00 AM EDT on April 28, 2016
This is the fourth of a five part series on severe weather safety
which will run each day during New York and Pennsylvania's severe
weather awareness week.
Today we discuss the difference between a Tornado Watch and a
Tornado Warning, and give you tips on what to do when a watch or
warning is issued for your area.
What is a tornado?
A tornado is a violently rotating column of air in contact with the
ground. The wind speed inside a tornado ranges from under 100 miles
an hour to over 200 miles an hour. They can travel as fast as
70 mph, and can destroy virtually everything in their path.
While most tornadoes that occur in central New York and northeast
Pennsylvania are not as strong as their counterparts in the
Midwest, strong and damaging tornadoes can and do occur here.
On may 31st and June 2nd 1998, central New York and northeast
Pennsylvania was hit by several tornadoes, some of which had wind
speeds up to 150 mph! In July 2014 there was a tornado that
killed 4 people in upstate New York. In June of 1998 2 people
were killed by a tornado in northeast Pennsylvania.
What does a Tornado Watch mean?
A Tornado Watch is issued when conditions are favorable, over a
large area, for tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. The Tornado
Watch is issued to alert you to the possibility that severe
thunderstorms are expected to develop, and that they may produce
tornadoes. The National weather service's Storm Prediction Center
issues a Tornado Watch for many counties and for several hours at
What you should do when a Tornado Watch is issued?
Go about your normal activities, but watch the sky around you
for developing storms. Periodically listen to NOAA Weather Radio,
TV and radio stations or check your Mobile device for updates
and possible warnings.
Know which County you live in, and which ones border your
community. If you are on vacation, or driving through an unfamiliar
area, remember the name of the County you are in and where you
are in relation to other towns or cities. Know how to get to a safe
place quickly if a warning is issued for your area, or if
What does a Tornado Warning mean?
A Tornado Warning is issued when Doppler radar shows a developing
tornado, or a when a tornado has been sighted by Skywarn
spotters, County emergency officials, police, or the public. The
warning means a tornado is going to move through your County
soon, so you need to take immediate action to protect your life and
property. Tornado warnings are issued by National Weather Service
offices, typically for a portion of a County, for up
to one hour.
What you should do when a Tornado Warning is issued?
The key is to remain calm, but take immediate action. If you are
at home or in a small building, go to the basement or to an
interior room on the lowest floor. Closets, bathrooms, and other
interior rooms offer the best protection. Get under something
sturdy or cover yourself with a mattress.
If you are in a school, hospital, or shopping center, go to a
pre designated shelter area. Stay away from large open areas and
windows. Do not go outside to your car. If you are in a high rise
building, go to an interior small room or hallway on the lowest
floor possible. Do not use the elevator, use The Stairs instead.
For the best protection, get under something sturdy or drop to your
knees facing an interior wall. Lean forward, with your hands
shielding your head.
Get out of Mobile homes or vehicles. They are easily tossed about by
strong winds in the tornado. Take shelter in a substantial
structure. If there is no shelter nearby, lie flat in a ditch or low
spot, with your hands shielding your head. Never stay inside the
Mobile home or vehicle.
For additional information on severe weather safety and severe
weather awareness week, check out the National Weather Service
Binghamton internet web site at:
The weather safety topic for the remainder of the week will be as
You can also contact, David nicosia, warning coordination
meteorologist for noaa's National Weather Service in
Binghamton, at 607-770-9531 x 223, or email at
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