Weather definitions and terminology you should know:
Watch – A watch simply means conditions are favorable for a severe weather event in or near the watch area. Watches are issued for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, and flash floods. A watch means you should be alert for changing weather. Stay tuned to local radio, TV, and NOAA weather radio for updates on changing weather conditions.
Warning – A warning means that the severe weather event is imminent or is now occurring in the warned area. Warnings are issued for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, flash floods, and river flooding. If a warning has been issued for your area, seek shelter immediately!
Severe Thunderstorm – A severe thunderstorm is a storm that produces hail 3/4 inch in diameter or larger and/or wind gusts of 58 mph or more.
Tornado – A tornado is a violently rotating column of air attached to a thunderstorm and in contact with the ground. Tornadoes can be deadly and devastating storms, with wind gusts up to 260 mph.
Funnel Cloud – A funnel cloud is a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud extending downward from the thunderstorm base.
Downburst – A downburst is a strong downdraft with an out-rush of damaging wind on or near the ground. Downbursts are responsible for most thunderstorm wind damage. Winds may exceed 100 mph in very strong downbursts.
Flash Flood – A flash flood is a rapid rise in water, usually within 12 hours of a period of heavy rain or other causative event, such as a dam break. Flash flooding is a major killer. Many flash floods occur at night.