Do you know the difference between a watch and warning?

Today’s Severe Weather Awareness Week topic centers on the difference between a watch and a warning for severe storms.

A watch means conditions are favorable for severe weather to occur through the duration of the watch. These are usually several hours in length and cover a large area. If your area is under a watch, whether it’s a tornado, severe thunderstorm, or flood watch, you need to be alert to weather conditions. Have a way to get warnings if they area issued for your area.

A warning means severe weather is occurring or is likely to occur soon. Warnings are much small in coverage size and typically represent only a part of a parish or county. These are indicated by polygons that are drawn ahead of the storm to show the area about to be impacted.

If you are in a warned area you need to seek shelter immediately and get to a safe place. Warnings typically do not last longer than 30-45 minutes.

A NOAA weather radio is always a good device to have in your home. When warnings are issued an alert will sound that will help wake you up at night and notify you of impending dangerous weather.