FAQ: What’s a Watch?

[Upbeat music] Severe weather can develop quickly. Advances in forecasting allow the NOAA National Weather Service to predict severe weather… before there’s even a cloud in the sky. Severe thunderstorm and tornado watches give you advance notice that conditions are favorable for dangerous weather. When your area is in a watch, be sure to stay alert for changing weather. Remember, a watch is not a warning. A warning is only issued when severe weather is about to strike. The NOAA Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma monitors weather conditions across the United States. They issue daily forecasts showing areas of the country that are likely to experience severe weather. In the hours before storms form, the Storm Prediction Center discusses the weather with National Weather Service Forecast Offices within the areas at risk. The Storm Prediction Center then issues a watch to notify people in those areas to stay alert for severe weather. A watch also includes information about what type of weather you might see and the chances of it actually occurring. The risk level can range from a few storms with hail and high winds to a Particularly Dangerous Situation when deadly tornadoes could occur. The most important thing you can do when a watch is issued is to stay alert for developing storms and understand your risk. Be sure to tune in to your local news for the updated weather information. You can also get instant weather alerts from NOAA Weather Radio. Watches also provide an opportunity… to review your family emergency plan as well as check your disaster supplies kit. When the risk increases and severe weather moves in, you’ll be ready if a warning is issued. If you need help developing a plan for your family or packing a kit, check out ready.gov for all the information. Stay alert… and stay safe this storm season.

24 thoughts on “FAQ: What’s a Watch?

  1. I don't mind if you use any of my EAS alert videos; as long as they have no major speaking.

  2. @SPCcranford1056 Or you can download apps for your phones. imapweatherradio for iPhone and weather alerts pro for Android.

  3. I'm frequently asked about that at my school since I'm a weather geek! No stranger to the watch. Also have to tell family members.

  4. This is a superb Public Service Announcement. It should be required viewing in all public school science classes in the country.

  5. Watch=Maybe, but stay prepared.
    Warning=If you ain't ready for this, get ready for a wild, wild ride!

  6. hey NascarForLife14, are you in northern illinois? im in east central illinois. im under a moderate risk today. i know youre in a high risk today. watch for tornadoes

  7. Wish you guys could do one that covers winter watches, advisories and warnings.

  8. I've heard that there are three stages of Tornado Advisories.Watches, Warnings, and Emergencies.


  10. Then is an advisory when conditions might be favorable for bad storms? Like maybe if they see some nasty looking clouds that might move their way.

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