Tornado Watch Issued

Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director of Public Affairs
703-324-3187, TTY 711, Fax 703-324-2010
Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)

Nov. 16, 2006

Tornado Watch Issued

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for the entire metropolitan area, including Fairfax County, effective until 6 p.m. tonight, Nov. 16. A tornado watch means that tornadoes are possible.

Residents are encouraged to remain alert for approaching storms. Watch the sky and look for the following danger signs:

  • Dark, often greenish sky.
  • Large hail.
  • A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating).
  • Loud roar, similar to a freight train.

Stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for information. Be alert to changing weather conditions. If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately.

In case a tornado warning is issued, it means a tornado has been sighted and may be headed for your area. If a tornado warning is issued, go to safety immediately:

  • If you are inside, go to your basement. If you don't have a basement, move to a small, windowless interior room such as a closet, bathroom or interior hall on the lowest level of the house. Avoid windows and protect your body from flying debris with a heavy blanket or sleeping bag.
  • Do not spend time opening windows to equalize pressure; it is ineffective in reducing tornado damage. Get down and cover your head. Get under a sturdy piece of furniture or a mattress if available. Stay away from windows.
  • If you are outside, hurry to the basement of a nearby sturdy building or lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area and cover your head. Remember to go low and get low.
  • If you are in a car, do not try to outrun a tornado. Get under the girders of an underpass or overpass, which can provide good protection.
  • Leave your mobile home and seek shelter in a nearby sturdy building. Mobile homes, even if properly tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes or microbursts.

Additional information about tornado watches and warnings is available on the FEMA Web page at and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management Web page at


For more news and information, visit

To request this information in an alternate format, call the Office of Public Affairs at 703-324-3187, TTY 711.

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