Watches and Warnings - Do You Know The Difference?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 |

Weather Watches and Warnings...You've heard and seen weather warnings, er.. watches - or were they advisories?

When it comes to emergency management and your safety, words have meaning. That's why the Los Angeles Fire Department suggests you become familiar with the terms used to identify severe weather conditions.

Advisories, Watches and Warnings are not synonymous!

A watch is used when the risk of a hazardous weather or hydrologic event has increased significantly, but its occurrence, location, and/or timing is still uncertain. It is intended to provide enough lead time so that those who need to set their plans in motion can do so.

An advisory highlights special weather conditions that are less serious than a warning. They are for events that may cause significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, could lead to situations that threaten life and/or property.

A warning is issued when a hazardous weather or hydrologic event is occurring, is imminent, or has a very high probability of occurring. A warning is used for conditions posing a threat to life or property.

By remembering to look or listen for such key words, you can take appropriate action to keep yourself and those you love safe from foreseeable danger.

Learn more about real-time weather in your region of the United States by visiting:

...and, remember to tune to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television stations for information whenever severe weather threatens!

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department


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