How tornado & severe thunderstrom warnings are issued

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) Your local National Weather Service offices are responsible for issuing ALL weather warning in their designated forecast areas.

When an active afternoon is in the forecast there can be as many as seven meteorologists on duty at the National Weather Service office in Rapid City.

They are closely watching every storm as it develops.

If the meteorologists believe a thunderstorm reaches severe criteria a severe thunderstorm or tornado warning is issued giving communities time to take action.

Lightning does not make a storm severe. Storms have to be capable of at least one inch hail, 58 mph winds, or a tornado.

National Weather Service Meteorologist, Susan Sanders says, "We project the storm track and the software produces the warning bulletin that includes where the storm will be tracking, what locations are effected and the potential hazards from the storm."

Having a NOAA Weather Radio and programming it to your county is a great way to get notified of a warning. Of course you can also seek additional information from our First Alert Weather Team or download our app.