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Severe weather WATCH vs WARNING

DATE | 05/21/24
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Wisconsin weather is often unpredictable and severe weather can develop quickly. Knowing the difference between a watch and a warning may save your life.

WATCH
A severe thunderstorm or tornado watch gives you advance notice that conditions are favorable for dangerous weather. When your area is in a watch, stay alert for changing weather. During a watch, there will be information about what type of weather you might see and the chance of it actually occurring. Risk levels can range from a few storms with hail and high winds to a particularly dangerous situation when deadly tornadoes can occur. Follow your local news for updates.

WARNING
A warning is issued when severe weather is about to strike in your area. For severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, and flash floods it means the weather event is happening now and you need to take action immediately.

  • Consider purchasing a weather radio. NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) broadcasts official National Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts, and other hazard information 24/7. You can find weather radios at hardware stores or on Amazon.
  • Make a plan. Ready.gov can assist you in creating a tailored family plan to help you during a weather emergency. Answer basic questions with your family and their needs in mind, create an evacuation plan, and fill out a Family Emergency Plan that you can email as a PDF file. And be sure to practice your plan. Visit ready.gov/plan to get started.