A severe thunderstorm watch is issued by the Storm Prediction Center of the National Weather Service when conditions in the atmosphere are favorable for thunderstorms to develop, and to do so quickly.
The watch is to serve as a guideline for where severe thunderstorms are most likely to develop. Storms can and often do develop outside of the stated watch areas, so locations near severe thunderstorm watches must also be on a higher state of alert for changing weather.
Thunderstorms are considered severe when they produce wind speeds of 58 miles per hour and or generate hail at least 1" in diameter.
According to the National Weather Service, watches are typically issued to last between four and eight hours. Watches are often modified as actual weather conditions vary with each atmospheric scenario.
During severe thunderstorm watches, people should be mindful for the potential of rapidly changing weather conditions. A way of being informed of alerts is essential.
In the case of the May 29 severe thunderstorm watch, counties in the Newsline 9 viewing area under the watch include Marathon, Wood, Portage, Taylor, Clark, Jackson, Adams, Juneau, Waushara and Monroe Counties.
For a link to the latest forecast from the Storm Track 9 team of meteorologists, click here.