Watch vs. Warning...It's important To Know The Difference!

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We hear many terms during a weather cast every night, but do you know the difference between a watch and a warning? 

Watch- Conditions are favorable for the development of severe weather, in and around the watch area. Pay attention to the weather and be ready to act! 

Warning- Severe weather is imminent and it's time to act! Head to your shelter! 

Let's break it down a little further.... Here is a break down of the difference and warnings and watches issued during severe weather events. 

Severe Thunderstorm Warning:
Issued when there is evidence based on radar or a reliable spotter report that a thunderstorm is producing, or about to produce, wind gusts of 58 mph or greater, structural wind damage, and/or hail 1 inch in diameter or greater.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch:
Is issued by the Storm Prediction Center when conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms over a larger-scale region. Tornadoes are not expected in such situations, but isolated tornado development cannot be ruled out.

Tornado Warning:
Issued when there is evidence based on radar or a reliable spotter report that a tornado is imminent or occurring.

Tornado Watch:
Is issued by the Storm Prediction Center when conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes over a larger-scale region.

Significant Weather Advisory:
Issued for strong thunderstorms that are below severe levels, but still may have some adverse impacts. Usually issued for the threat of wind gusts of 40-58 mph or hail up to 1 inch in diameter.

Flash Flood Watch
Issued generally when there is the possibility of flash flooding or urban flooding over an area within the next 36 hours.

Flash Flood Warning
Issued when flash flooding is imminent, generally within the next 1 to 3 hours. Usually issued based on observed heavy rainfall (measured or radar estimated), but may also be issued for significant dam breaks that have occurred or are imminent.

Flood Watch
Issued when there is the possibility of widespread general flooding over an area within the next 36 hours.

Flood Advisory
Issued when flooding is imminent or occurring, generally within the next 1 to 3 hours, but is not expected to substantially threaten life and property.

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