Watch vs. Warning - FOX Carolina 21

Watch vs. Warning

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A gorgeous weekend is coming!  Sunny and mild, with a few clouds by Sunday but staying dry!  Monday will bring our next good chance for rain.

We are wrapping up Severe Weather Awareness Week and today is about HOW you get your vital weather information and how you interpret it.  Do you know what the difference between a watch and a warning?  If a tornado watch is issued, do you need to get to your safe place immediately?  The answer - NO.

 A WATCH means that conditions are favorable and rough weather is possible in the near future.  So a tornado watch means that conditions are favorable for tornadoes to develop and tornadoes will be POSSIBLE.  You need to stay on the alert and be aware of any warnings that may get issued.

A WARNING means that the bad weather is happening or about to happen, so you want to take precautions.  In the case of a tornado warning, you'd want to get to the lowest floor of your home, away from windows, in a bathroom, hallway or closet perhaps.  A tornado warning means a tornado has been spotted OR indicated on Doppler radar.

Here's some more info from National Weather Service on the topic and also some helpful stuff on NOAA Weather Radios and other ways of getting warning/watch info:

THROUGHOUT THE WEEK...WE HAVE DISCUSSED THE VARIOUS TYPES OF SEVERE

WEATHER THAT POSE A THREAT TO THE CAROLINAS EACH YEAR. THE NATIONAL

WEATHER SERVICE HAS RESPONSIBILITY FOR ISSUING WARNINGS AND WATCHES

OF SEVERE WEATHER. REMEMBER THAT A WATCH IS ISSUED IN THE HOURS

PRIOR TO SEVERE WEATHER. IT MEANS THAT YOU SHOULD MAKE FINAL REVIEWS

OF YOUR SAFETY PLAN...AND YOU SHOULD LISTEN CLOSELY FOR WARNINGS AND

WATCH OUT FOR SEVERE WEATHER. A WARNING IS ISSUED MINUTES BEFORE

SEVERE WEATHER STRIKES. IT MEANS YOU SHOULD PUT YOUR SAFETY PLAN

INTO IMMEDIATE ACTION. YOUR LOCAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE MAINTAINS

STRONG RELATIONSHIPS WITH LOCAL NEWS MEDIA OUTLETS AND EMERGENCY

MANAGEMENT OFFICIALS TO ENSURE THAT WATCHES AND WARNINGS ARE

BROADCAST OVER PUBLIC AIR WAVES AS SOON AS THE NATIONAL WEATHER

SERVICE RELEASES THE INFORMATION. THIS SYSTEM IS A VERY EFFECTIVE

WAY OF RECEIVING WEATHER INFORMATION...AS LONG AS YOU HAPPEN TO BE

WATCHING TELEVISION OR LISTENING TO THE RADIO WHEN THE WARNINGS AND

WATCHES ARE ISSUED.

IT IS NOT UNCOMMON FOR SEVERE WEATHER...INCLUDING TORNADOES TO

AFFECT OUR REGION LATE AT NIGHT AND IN THE EARLY MORNING HOURS. IN

ADDITION...POWER OUTAGES CAN CUT OFF THIS MEANS OF RECEIVING

CRITICAL WEATHER UPDATES. THIS POSES THE QUESTION OF HOW YOU IN THE

PUBLIC CAN RECEIVE WARNINGS OF TORNADOES AND VIOLENT THUNDERSTORMS

WHILE YOU ARE AWAY FROM YOUR TELEVISION OR RADIO...OR WHEN YOU LOSE

POWER. EVEN IF YOU HAVE AN EFFECTIVE SEVERE WEATHER PLAN IN PLACE...

THAT PLAN IS USELESS IF YOU HAVE NOT ENSURED THAT YOU HAVE RELIABLE

MEANS OF RECEIVING WARNINGS IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES.

THE MOST EFFECTIVE METHOD OF RECEIVING WARNINGS DURING THESE TIMES

IS VIA NOAA WEATHER RADIO. THESE RATHER INEXPENSIVE YET LIFE-SAVING

DEVICES CAN BE PURCHASED AT MOST ELECTRONICS STORES. BASIC NOAA

WEATHER RADIOS ARE BATTERY-OPERATED AND ARE EQUIPPED WITH AN AUDIBLE

ALARM THAT CAN BE TRIGGERED WHEN A SEVERE WEATHER WARNING OR WATCH

IS ISSUED FOR ANY COUNTY IN YOUR PARTICULAR BROADCAST AREA.

HOWEVER...MORE SOPHISTICATED MODELS ARE AVAILABLE THAT ARE EQUIPPED

WITH SPECIFIC AREA MESSAGE ENCODING...OR SAME...TECHNOLOGY. THIS

FEATURE ALLOWS THE RADIOS TO BE PROGRAMMED TO ALARM ONLY WHEN A

WARNING OR WATCH IS ISSUED FOR YOUR COUNTY. YOU CAN ALSO PROGRAM

MANY OF THESE DEVICES TO ALERT ONLY FOR CERTAIN TYPES OF WARNINGS OR

WATCHES.

CELL PHONE TECHNOLOGY IS TAKING ON AN INCREASING ROLE IN RECEIPT OF

WARNINGS. MOST MAJOR MOBILE PHONE PROVIDERS ARE NOW PARTICIPATING IN

THE WIRELESS EMERGENCY ALERT PROGRAM. THESE ARE TEXT MESSAGE ALERTS

SENT TO YOUR CELL PHONE CONTAINING CRITICAL CIVIL EMERGENCY

MESSAGES...INCLUDING SOME...BUT NOT ALL WEATHER WARNINGS. YOU WILL

AUTOMATICALLY RECEIVE THIS SERVICE UNLESS YOU OPT OUT...ALTHOUGH

SOME OLDER PHONES MAY NOT BE EQUIPPED TO RECEIVE THE MESSAGES. IN

ADDITION...SOME PRIVATE VENDORS OFFER SERVICES THAT ALLOW YOU TO

RECEIVE A TEXT MESSAGE OR OTHER ALERT ON YOUR MOBILE PHONE OR PAGER

DEVICE IF ANY WEATHER WARNING IS ISSUED FOR YOUR COUNTY OR CITY.

OTHER APPLICATIONS MAKE USE OF THE GPS SYSTEM IN SMART PHONES TO

ALERT YOUR PHONE ONLY IF A WARNING IS ISSUED FOR YOUR SPECIFIC

LOCATION. A SIMPLE INTERNET SEARCH WILL PROVIDE MORE INFORMATION ON

SOME OF THESE SERVICES.

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