What Weather Watches and Warnings Mean
Have you ever been watching television or listening to the radio and have an emergency weather alert interrupt your programming? If you have, did you listen to the alert in question? If you did, what action did you take? Unfortunately, there are many individuals who mistakenly believe that weather watches and warning are weather alerts that they do not need to take seriously. For many individuals, this thinking has the potential to lead to dangerous, serious consequences.
When it comes to weather watches and weather warnings, many individuals wonder what they are. Generally speaking, weather watches, such as severe thunderstorm watches, are instances in which severe weather is likely to occur. Often times, watches cover a generalized area, such as a whole county, not just a particularly city or town. On the other hand, severe weather warnings tend to be more targeted. That is because severe weather warnings are issued when severe weather, such as a thunderstorm or tornado, is imminent. This mean the weather event in question will occur.
Now that you are more familiar with weather watches and warnings, you should also take steps to understand their importance. One of the many reasons why weather warnings go unnoticed is because of watches. As previously stated, weather watches are issued when there is a medium to high chance of severe weather. Many times, the cities and towns inside of a weather watch box do not experience any severe weather. In a way, this has desensitized many individuals. Of course, it is also possible for a simple weather watch to turn into a warning in a matter of minutes. That is why you should always listen to weather alerts, whether you see them online, on the television, or hear them on the radio.
As for what action should be taken, you will find that it all depends on the situation at hand. If you ever find yourself in the middle of a severe weather watch, such as one for a thunderstorm, winter storm, or tornado, you will want to simply keep your eyes and ears open. Examine the weather outdoors for any drastic changes and stay up-to-date on all weather alerts, as many are regularly updated in cases of extreme severe weather, such as tornados. It may also be a good idea to gather a few supplies, such as flashlight and batteries, water, and a few snacks.
As for severe weather warnings, the action that you take should all depend on the weather event in question. This is important as flash flood, tornadoes, snow and ice storms, as well as hurricanes should all be handled differently. In the event that you find yourself in the middle of a tornado warning, it is advised that you either retreat to your basement or a safe interior and window free room in your home. As for severe thunderstorms, it is important that you stay away from all windows and have emergency backup lights and heat, just in case of a power outage. The same can be said for snow and ice storms; you will want to plan to be stranded inside of your home, possibly even for days.
In keeping with the actions that you should take during a severe weather warning, it is important to pay attention to all hurricane warnings. We have seen in the past just how horrific hurricanes can be. They pose an enormous amount of danger, even when you prepare for them. A hurricane warning may call for an evacuation. The same can be said for flooding. If you are able to safely get out of your home during a flood, you will want to do so.
As outlined above, it is important to that you carefully listen to all severe weather watches and warnings that may be issued in your area. This is particularly the case in weather events that have the ability to become natural disasters, such as hurricanes and tornadoes. To stay up-to-date with the weather in your area, especially during severe weather, you will want to have a battery operated weather radio on hand at all times.