April 09, 2015
A watch is issued when weather or atmospheric conditions are conducive for a severe weather event to develop. A trick to remember what a watch means is to think you’re watching out for something. Watches are important but not as urgent as warnings. A good time to review your severe weather safety plan for home or business is when a watch is first issued.
A warning is issued to inform you of an imminent weather hazard. The National Weather Service issues warnings when radar has detected severe weather or eyewitnesses report seeing a tornado, severe thunderstorm, flash flood, etc. The emergency preparedness action you take depends on the type of warning issued. A warning means you are in immediate danger and should seek shelter or take appropriate action right away. This is definitely not the time to gather supplies for an emergency preparedness kit or you may not have time to make it to safety.
News, media and weather alert radios commonly broadcast the following types of watches and warnings: