The National Weather Service in Taunton has declared this week as severe weather preparedness week in southern New England, and will be issuing informational statements each day of this week on their website. On that note, it is important to be aware of severe weather in the Boston area, which does occur in the summer months. Commonly, lighting, hail, tornadoes, and flash flooding are associated with severe weather. On days in which conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms or tornadoes, the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK issues a watch.
A watch area may span one or more states and last for several hours. A warning on the other hand is issued by the local National Weather Service office (in our case Taunton, MA) and means that a severe thunderstorm or tornado is imminent. Warnings usually cover a small area (approximately the size of a county) and usually last for a much shorter time.