What's the difference between a watch and warning?

When severe weather approaches several alerts may be issued to inform you of the impending threats.

There is a distinct difference between a watch and a warning, and knowing the difference can save your life.

So let's review!

A watch is issued if weather conditions are favorable for the event to occur.

For example, a severe thunderstorm watch will be issued if severe storms could produce one inch hail and/or 58 mph or stronger winds.

While, a tornado watch is issued if the environment is conducive for rotation and severe thunderstorms may be capable of producing tornadoes.

If a watch of any kind is issued, be prepared!

It does not mean that the threat is immanent, but it does mean that the threat may develop.

Review your severe weather action plan and you should keep up to date on the current weather situation, either by using our 41 Action News mobile app or checking social media.

Luckily, watches give you time to prepare and stay aware!

A warning on the other hand should be taken more seriously and citizens MUST take action.

This means the threat is immanent and happening at that current moment.

A severe thunderstorm warning is issued when a storm is capable of producing 1 ince sized hail and/or 58 mph or stronger winds.

At this point, you should find shelter and wait for the storm to pass.

Meanwhile, a tornado warning could be life threatening and you must take cover immediately!

Find your safe place if your house is within the warning area. That should be a basement or the lowest and most interior room of the house. Keep a weather radio and your phone with you so we can update you on when the threat is over and you can get out of your safe place.

It's never too early to review your action plans! Be sure you download the 41 Action News App so that we can keep you all updated when severe weather strikes.


What to do when a tornado strikes?

What is Tornado Alley?




Lindsey Anderson can be reached at Lindsey.Anderson@KSHB.com. 

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