Hey Ray! The Difference Between Weather Watches And Warnings

Meteorologist Ray Petelin is back with another home science lesson!

Video Transcript

RAY PETELIN: That's so cool. Some of the most important weather terminology for safety is often the most confused weather terminology.


RAY PETELIN: Not mesocyclone. Watch and warning. And while they sound very similar, they mean different things. Watches are issued when the risk of hazardous weather is elevated, but its occurrence, location and timing is still uncertain. Watches are intended to provide you enough notice for you to get prepared for severe weather. It's basically when we know some ingredients are going to be in place.

ELIZABETH PETELIN: That seems simple. What is a warning?

RAY PETELIN: Warnings are issued when severe weather is happening or likely. A warning means that weather conditions pose a threat to life or property, and people in the path of the storm need to take protective action. It's when those ingredients start to come together.

ELIZABETH PETELIN: Those both sound pretty similar.

RAY PETELIN: They do, and that's why we're going to simplify this even more.

ELIZABETH PETELIN: Is that why there's all this stuff on the counter?

RAY PETELIN: Yep. We have a bunch of ingredients here for haluski noodles. But as you can see, no haluski noodles are present. Knowing that the chance for haluski noodles is elevated though, we must issue a--

ELIZABETH PETELIN: Haluski noodle watch.

RAY PETELIN: Yes we have the ingredients here but there's no immediate threat for haluski noodles, so a watch is issued so you know of the haluski noodle potential. Now as the ingredients start coming together and haluski noodles are imminent or happening, we need to issue a--

ELIZABETH PETELIN: Haluski noodle warning.

RAY PETELIN: Yes. A haluski noodle warning would need to be issued. It's no longer just ingredients in place, and a warning is putting you on notice that haluski noodles will be near you soon.

ELIZABETH PETELIN: I like the haluski noodle warnings more than the other one.

RAY PETELIN: I think most people do. So again, the simple explanation is haluski noodle watch, a haluski noodle warning.

ELIZABETH PETELIN: What if somebody wants to make their own haluski noodle little warning?

RAY PETELIN: No worries. I'll put the recipe online at kdka.com. Reporting from home.

ELIZABETH PETELIN: I'm Elizabeth Petelin.

RAY PETELIN: And I'm meteorologist Ray Petelin.