The Storm Prediction Center, or S.P.C., is a branch of the National Weather Service, and the meteorologists there focus on just one thing: predicting severe storms.
When those meteorologists feel that the conditions for development of strong storms is likely, they'll issue a "watch," such as a severe thunderstorm watch or a tornado watch.
This simply means that conditions for the development of these types of storms is are favorable in the area covered by the watch.
To do this job, the men and women at the S.P.C. use state of the art technology and years of experience forecasting the weather.
Once a watch is issued, it is up to local National Weather Service offices to issue warnings.
We'll meet the meteorologists at the National Weather Service office in Springfield in part two of this special report, and tell you what makes a severe storm different from a regular storm.
To learn more about the Storm Prediction Center, click here.