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Severe Weather Preparedness Week: Watch vs Warning

todd nws warnings
Posted at 12:38 PM, Mar 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-16 21:19:17-04

INDIANAPOLIS — As Hoosiers, we know that we can see all sorts of weather throughout the course of a year.

Whether it's heat, wind, ice, snow or severe storms, the National Weather Service and WRTV are both here to keep you informed and prepared as we enter severe weather season.

The National Weather Service is the agency that issues watches, warnings and advisories. WRTV will then inform you of them through all our platforms.

Year after year though, there seems to be confusion on the difference between a watch and a warning.

A watch is basically what the word means — watch for conditions to change. Think of it as making dinner and getting all the ingredients together. It means conditions are favorable for inclement weather. This is your time for you and your family to make a plans in case weather get severe. A watch will usually come out hours in advance

A warning means the event is already occurring or likely to occur shortly. If the watch was getting the ingredients together, the warning is the meal or the main event. This is the time you put your severe weather plan into action and get in your safe place. Act immediately.

The three most urgent warnings we see in Central Indiana are thunderstorm, tornado and flash flood warnings.

Watches and warnings can also be issued for winter weather along with heat and wind, but for those you usually have hours and sometimes days to prepare. With any of these warnings, you need to be inside in a safe location.

It also important to remember that sometimes you can get one of these warnings with a watch in place.

Use this week to review your severe weather plan with your family. Have a safety kit as well in case you lose power. Also download the free Storm Shield app. It is great tool to have that will alert you to any watches or warnings that get issued.

MORE: Severe Weather Preparedness Week: Here's what you should do in the event of a tornado | Study: Nearly 33% of Indiana's tornadoes from 1950-2005 happened at night | Indiana hosts statewide tornado drill as part of Severe Weather Preparedness Week |Severe Weather Preparedness: What to know about, how to prepare for thunderstorms