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When severe weather strikes

ELMIRA, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - Severe weather can be a very scary and hectic time for everyone experiencing it, however, a team of meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Binghamton monitor what is coming days ahead of an actual event. 

"The daily and weekly forecast, obviously we look at radar and satellite and all the observations. As we get further out we rely more and more on computer models that are a representation of what the atmosphere is going to be like in the next 3, 4, 5, 6 or even 7 days or beyond," said Dave Nicosia, warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Binghamton.

But along with daily forecasts, meteorologists at the National Weather Service also monitor severe weather before it enters the region. Nicosia explains that when they are expecting severe weather for a particular area such as the Twin Tiers they will issue a watch.

<When we think there's a chance for severe weather during the day and all the conditions start coming together that's when you'll hear a severe thunderstorm watch or a tornado watch in the worst instances," Nicosia said, "and it's very important to understand that we don't issue warnings for every thunderstorm only the severe thunderstorms."

If conditions start to look favorable for more than just thunderstorms then the National Weather Service may issue a tornado watch. A watch will only be issued when conditions are looking favorable for severe weather to develop, watches will be issued anywhere from 6 to 9 hours before you would expect to see severe weather beginning. Essentially, you're watching for the upcoming warning. 

"Warnings are usually, for severe thunderstorms anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes, same thing for tornado warnings, 15 to 30 minutes," Said Nicosia, when a warning is issued you need to take action. "There isn't a lot of time, if a warning is issued you have to have a plan of action. If you're out on your boat on the middle of Seneca Lake and the warning's coming out you better be able to get to safe harbor quick."

This summer, according to the Climate Prediction Center from Washington, D.C. the Twin Tiers looks to be warmer than average and wetter than average. That combination could translate to several rounds of severe weather for the coming season.

But, given this outlook Nicosia says we all need to remember one thing, "If we have above normal temperatures in the Twin Tier region and it's moist, chances are we'll have more severe weather but I think the main point though is even if we have normal temperatures, normal precipitation or even if it's chilly we still do get severe weather, so people need to prepare for the severe weather season."

Hopefully the weather will cooperate and we will see pleasant weather throughout the Twin Tiers for the majority of the summer season. But when the weather does turn severe don't forget you can tune to the 18 storm team 7-days a week for the latest forecast and the latest information when severe weather strikes.   




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