EXPIRED AT 8:06 PM: Tornado WATCH in Effect Until 9 p.m. CDT for Waco, McLennan County

May 9, 2024
description of a Tornado Watch vs Tornado Warning

Contact: Baylor University Media & Public Relations, 254-710-1961
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The Tornado Watch for the Waco/McLennan County area EXPIRED early at 8:06 PM.

7:22 PM UPDATE: 

Severe Thunderstorm Warning expired at 7:15 PM CT, however, the Waco/McLennan County area remains under a Tornado WATCH until 9 PM CT.


Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Waco, McLennan County until 7:15 PM CT.

1:51 PM:

WACO, Texas (May 9, 2024) - The  National Weather Service has issued a Tornado WATCH for Central Texas, including Waco and McLennan County, Texas, effective until 9 p.m. CDT tonight. 

A Tornado WATCH means that tornadoes – along with damaging winds and hail – are possible in and near the watch area.

Be Weather Ready!

As you remain aware of today’s severe weather possibility, we ask that you stay Weather Ready by reviewing and discussing your emergency plans so you can quickly take proactive actions in the event of an emergency. Baylor’s tornado safety procedure guide is available here.

Actions you can take NOW include:

  • Check your supplies, make sure your phone is charged, and identify and check the safe space in your home, apartment or residence hall.
  • If you live in a Baylor residence hall, make sure you know where your Severe Weather Assembly Area is in your hall. These areas are identified on Building Emergency Plan maps throughout each building and also available via an online map.
  • Be ready to act quickly if a warning is issued or you suspect a tornado is approaching.

If a Tornado WARNING is issued:

There are multiple ways the City of Waco, McLennan County and Baylor University alert their respective communities of an approaching tornado AND the actions you should take immediately:

  • Tornado Sirens: The City of Waco-McLennan County Office of Emergency Management operates a network of sirens located throughout city and county. Baylor University also operates its outdoor notification system, including sirens on its campus. The sirens are activated during a tornado warning or if a tornado is imminent.
  • Baylor Alert Emergency Notification System: Baylor also will activate its multi-tiered Baylor Alert emergency notification system, which will provide the action(s) you need to take immediately, including seeking shelter indoors and moving to the safe space in your home/apartment or designated weather assembly area in your campus residence hall. The Baylor Alert system includes:
  1. Emergency email and text messages, 
  2. Audio message to a cellphone or other telephone, outdoor/indoor notification systems on campus, 
  3. Baylor’s main website
  4. Official Baylor social media accounts at Facebook, @Baylor on Twitter and @BaylorUniversity on Instagram and
  5. Baylor Information Line at 254-710-4411.

Safety Procedures:


  • Seek shelter immediately on a ground floor, in an interior room.
  • Severe Weather Assembly Areas in each Baylor Waco campus building are identified on Building Emergency Plan maps throughout each building and available via an online map.
  • Do not use elevators.
  • Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls.
  • Avoid wide-span roof areas such as auditorium, gymnasium, dining hall and large hallways.

Residence Halls

  • Residence Hall Directors and available staff will gather all residents to the Severe Weather Assembly Areas (identified on Building Emergency Plan maps throughout the facility).
  • Residents should bring blankets for protection from debris.
  • Remain in the Severe Weather Assembly Areas until the tornado passes, and an All Clear is issued via Baylor Alert.


  • Seek indoor shelter, if possible.
  • Parked motor vehicles are unsafe.
  • If indoor shelter is not available and there is not time for escape, lie flat in a ditch or low spot.
  • If you are on a flat ground and are caught in the path of a tornado, always move at right angles to its path.

Individuals with mobility/impairments or physical disabilities:

Supervisory personnel and course instructors are responsible for identifying and escorting individuals with mobility impairments or physical disabilities located in their offices/facilities or classrooms to safety in the event of a tornado warning.

The elevators may be used to transport individuals with mobility impairments or physical disabilities and their escorts to a safer location. Visually impaired and hearing-impaired individuals may be escorted down the stairs but may require assistance in moving in crowded staircases and in finding a safer location.

In the event of a power failure, individuals who are unable to use the stairs and their escorts should move to an interior location without windows and call the Baylor University Police Department (254-710-2222) who will notify the appropriate emergency personnel with the location.