What's the difference between a watch and warning?

Reported by Colin Hackman – bio |email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – With spring temperatures just around the corner, knowing the difference between a watch and a warning could be the difference between saving yourself and the people you care about.

Watches and warnings are designed to get the public read for whatever Mother Nature plans to bring, so what do you need to know?

First – it is important to know which county you live in.

The national weather service issues watches and warnings based on county.  That means you should not only know what county you live in, but how close you are to the next county line. That way you also know how close weather is to you when you hear a watch or warning come out over the TV, internet, or on your weather radio.

Next - know how to decipher watches and warnings.

The National Weather Service can issue dozens of watches and warnings, so you need not memorize them all.  The most important thing to know is the difference between a watch and a warning.

A watch means just that - watch the weather and be ready to react.

A warning means you need to take immediate action - that life and property are at risk right now.

To learn more about watches and warnings, visit the First Alert Severe Weather Page.

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