Do you know the difference between a weather watch and a weather warning?

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – With severe weather potentially on the way later Sunday, now is a good time to review severe weather protocols and make sure you’re ready for whatever Mother Nature throws our way. One way to be ready is to make sure you understand the potentially life saving information coming from the National Weather Service. Do you know the difference between a severe weather watch and a severe weather warning? The following from the National Weather Service should give you a good break down of the definitions for severe thunderstorm and tornado watches and warnings.

 

Severe Thunderstorm Watch

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is issued when severe thunderstorms are possible in and near the watch area. It does not mean that they will occur. It only means they are possible.

Severe thunderstorms are defined as follows:

1) Winds of 58 mph or higher

AND/OR

2) Hail 1 inch in diameter or larger.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning

A Severe Thunderstorm Warning is issued when severe thunderstorms are occurring or imminent in the warning area.

Severe thunderstorms are defined as follows:

1) Winds of 58 mph or higher

AND/OR

2) Hail 1 inch in diameter or larger.

Tornado Watch

A Tornado Watch is issued when severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are possible in and near the watch area. It does not mean that they will occur. It only means they are possible.

Severe thunderstorms are defined as follows:

1) Winds of 58 mph or higher

AND/OR

2) Hail 1 inch in diameter or larger.

Tornado Warning

A Tornado Warning is issued when a tornado is imminent. When a tornado warning is issued, seek safe shelter immediately.

It’s equally important to make sure you have a reliable way (and a back up or two) to get these severe weather watches and warnings. Many smartphones that have Wireless Emergency Alerts enabled will alert you to tornado warnings, but it’s also good to have a NOAA Weather Radio close by to be alerted to other watches and warnings. You can also get watches and warnings for your location pushed to your smartphone with our First Alert mobile weather app. Click here to download it now!

With severe weather set to come through Sunday night, it’s even more important to make sure you have multiple ways to get severe weather watches and warnings. Severe weather can be especially dangerous at night because you may not be able to see it coming.

Stay with the WNCT 9 First Alert weather team for updates on Sunday and Sunday night’s severe weather potential.

– Meteorologist Pierce Legeion

Pierce Legeion is a meteorologist and digital journalist for WNCT 9 First Alert Weather.

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