Severe Weather

Winter Weather

Winter Weather Advisory -Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant hazards.
Winter Storm Watch -A winter storm is possible in your area.
Freezing Rain -Rain that freezes when it hits the ground, creating a coating of ice on roads, walkways, trees and power lines.
Sleet -Rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes moisture on roads to freeze and become slippery.


A tornado watch means that tornadoes and other kinds of severe weather are possible in the next several hours. It does not mean tornadoes are imminent, just that you need to be alert, and to be prepared to go to safe shelter when a tornado warning is issued.

A tornado warning means that a tornado has been spotted, or that radar indicates a thunderstorm circulation which can spawn a tornado.

Tornadoes can strike rapidly, without time for warning.
The following weather signs may mean that a tornado is approaching:
•A dark or green-colored sky.
•A large, dark, low-lying cloud.
•Large hail.
•A loud roar that sounds like a freight train.

During a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately and protect yourself from flying debris. If inside, go to the lowest possible level of a building. If unable to get to a basement, go to the most center interior wall away from windows and doors. Put as many walls between you and the outside. If outside, safely get lower than the level of the roadway, leave your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands. Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.Never try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle. Watch flying debris which causes most fatalities and injuries.


Tropical Storm Watch:tropical storm conditions, including winds from 39 to 73 mph, pose a possible threat to a specified area within 48 hours.
Tropical Storm Warning:tropical storm conditions are expected to affect a specified area within 36 hours or less.
Hurricane Watch: when hurricane conditions, including sustained winds of 74mph or greater, are possible within 48 hours.
Hurricane Warning:when hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours.

A hurricane is a severe tropical storm that does not need to make landfall to cause great danger. Seek shelter as in a tornado.

Hurricanes are classified into five categories, based on wind speed and potential to cause damage:
•Category One –Winds 74-95 mph
•Category Two –Winds 96-110 mph
•Category Three –Winds 111-130 mph
•Category Four –Winds 131-155 mph
•Category Five –Winds greater than 155 mph


If inside, stay away from exterior walls and protect yourself from falling debris. If outside, move away from buildings to the most open area possible and drop
to the ground. If in a vehicle, stop in the most open area possible and remain in vehicle.

Most injuries occur when people inside buildings try to move to a different location in the building or try to leave, so stay inside if inside and outside if outside. Most injuries can be avoided if you drop to the ground before the earthquake drops you.


JCHS Inclement Weather Policy

Please see our Inclement Weather Policy for more information.