A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued by the National Weather Service from 4:45 p.m. until 9 p.m. Tuesday night for Kenosha, Milwaukee, Racine, Walworth and Waukesha counties.

The primary threat: Large hail and damaging winds, according to a press release by the National Weather Service.

A severe thunderstorm watch means conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms to develop and residents should watch for them. It is a storm that produces one-inch hail or large, and/or winds more than 58 miles per hour.

“There are chances for thunderstorms each day from Wednesday night through Monday,” according to the press release.

According to the National Weather Serice, here’s what you can do to stay safe.

  • Stay Weather Ready: Continue to listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay updated about severe thunderstorm watches and warnings.
  • At Your House: Go to your secure location if you hear a severe thunderstorm warning. Damaging wind or large hail may be approaching. Take your pets with you if time allows.
  • At Your Workplace or School: Stay away from windows if you are in a severe thunderstorm warning and damaging wind or large hail is approaching. Do not go to large open rooms such as cafeterias, gymnasiums or auditoriums.
  • Outside: Go inside a sturdy building immediately if severe thunderstorms are approaching. Sheds and storage facilities are not safe. Taking shelter under a tree can be deadly. The tree may fall on you. Standing under a tree also put you at a greater risk of getting struck by lightning.
  • In a Vehicle: Being in a vehicle during severe thunderstorms is safer than being outside; however, drive to closest secure shelter if there is sufficient time.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.