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A Look Inside the National Weather Service


TAUNTON, Mass. (WGGB) — Yesterday’s warnings and the Oklahoma tornado are strong reminders of the devastation these storms can bring.

All of the severe weather alerts we report to you come directly from the National Weather Service in Taunton.

The National Weather Service issues severe weather alerts.

NWS meteorologist Bob Thompson explains that a watch “means there’s a potential, means there is an environment that is condusive.”

A warning, however, is more serious.

“A particular storm is indeed producing a tornado or in all likelihood based upon the radar signatures we’re seeing,” Thompson adds.

You may have noticed more of these alerts since the June 1, 2011 tornado.

The National Weather Service says it is not because of change in the environment, but giving more precise information from new technology called “duel-polarization.”

“It’s multidimensional, so we can see better the particles of the storm,” Thompson explains.

With public participation reporting what is seen, the NWS is more aware, and in general, more cautious now than ever.

Thompson notes, “We may be more sensitive to the watches and warnings being put out, especially when we had a very significant tornado like we did in our neck of the woods.”

The National Weather Sevice urges that everyone have one of these, a NOAA weather radio, so that when they issue a watch or a warning, you will be alerted immediately to ensure your safety.”

You can get one at your local electronic store.

There is also the option to use the National Weather Service Facebook page and of course, we always bring you the watches and warnings from the NWS here on ABC40 and on wggb.com.

During a tornado warning, you should go into a basement or storm cellar. If you don’t have one, go into an interior room on the lower level, away from windows.

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