Storm Center 7

SEVERE WEATHER: Difference between Watch vs. Warning

The National Weather Service is the government entity that issues watches and warnings. The National Weather Service office for this region is in Wilmington.

During severe weather season, tornado watches and severe thunderstorm watches are also issued by the Storm Prediction Center, which is based in Norman, Okla.


In severe weather season, knowing the difference between a watch and a warning can be life-saving.

A WATCH means you should prepare for the possibility of a severe storm or tornado. This means the ingredients are there for severe weather to develop. You should review your safety plan and know where you would go if severe weather strikes. Making sure you have your WHIO Weather App with push notifications turned on will allow you to get the latest watches and warnings on your phone.

A WARNING means you should act NOW, because severe weather is occurring, or a tornado has been seen or indicated by radar. This means get into your safe spot immediately especially if a Tornado Warning has been issued. If it is a Severe Thunderstorm Warning, get inside and away from any windows.

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