Weather 101: Watches vs. Warnings, What’s the Difference?
Residents and business owners in Bay County, Florida are no stranger to unsettled weather. Pop-up thunderstorms are a common summer occurrence, and can sometimes produce unexpected amounts of rainwater, wind, or lightning. Along with these weather conditions often come watches and warnings, whether for flood, tornado, or other condition. We’ve all heard about them, but what is the true difference between the two?
When a “watch” is issued, the issuing authority is telling you to Be Prepared! Severe conditions (whether flood, tornado, thunderstorm, etc.) are possible in and near the watch area. When a watch is in effect, you will need to stay informed and be ready to act if a “warning” gets issued. The watch area is typically large, covering a more widespread geographical area.
When a “warning” is issued, the issuing authority is telling you to Take Action! Severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to property or life, and when a warning is in effect, you will need to seek shelter until the weather has passed. Warnings typically encompass a much smaller geographical area that may be impacted directly by severe weather conditions.
Keeping yourself and your loved ones safe during severe weather situations is extremely important. Understanding the difference between watches and warnings helps you to plan, prepare, and act as needed. If severe weather results in property damage to your home or business, trust SERVPRO of Bay County to help. Our locally owned and operated team has the experience, equipment, and training to respond to losses of all sizes, working diligently to make your damage “Like it never even happened.” For more information, please give us a call at 850-785-1077, or visit our Storm Services Webpage.