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Preparing for a storm

What’s the difference between a hurricane watch and warning?

 

Understanding the difference between National Weather Service watches and warnings is critical to being prepared for any dangerous weather hazard, including hurricanes.

Tropical Storm Watch: An announcement that tropical storm conditions are possible within the specified area.

Hurricane Watch: An announcement that hurricane conditions are possible within the specified area. Because outside preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, watches are issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

Action: During a watch, prepare your home and review your plan for evacuation in case a Hurricane or Tropical Storm Warning is issued. Listen closely to instructions from local officials.

Tropical Storm Warning: An announcement that tropical-storm conditions are expected within the specified area.

Hurricane Warning: An announcement that hurricane conditions are expected within the specified area. Because outside preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, warnings are issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

Action: During a warning, complete storm preparations and immediately leave the threatened area if directed by local officials.

Extreme Wind Warning: Extreme sustained winds of a major hurricane (115 mph or greater), usually associated with the eyewall, are expected to begin within an hour.

Action: Take immediate shelter in the interior portion of a well-built structure.

Source: National Hurricane Center website

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