Watches vs. Warnings: What's the difference?

Watches vs. Warnings: What's the difference?
(Source: KPLC)

(KPLC) - Watches can be issued for different types of severe weather including tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flash floods. They indicate a risk of hazardous weather. Unlike a warning, a watch does not mean immediate action should be taken to protect life or property but should give you a heads up that severe weather is possible and you should have a plan in place in case a storm threatens.

Warnings are more urgent and indicate that severe weather has been indicated, is imminent or even already occurring. A warning means you should take immediate action to protect life and property.

In the event of a tornado warning, for example, you would want to immediately move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building. Avoid windows. If in a mobile home, a vehicle or outdoors, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris.

Warnings are only issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office and typically encompass a much smaller area than a watch, which includes a larger area that could be at risk.

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