With severe weather alerts, it can be tricky trying to figure out what the different terms mean if you're not a seasoned professional.
WeatherWorks describes watches as "conditions are favorable or expected, but not occurring or imminent" and warnings as "conditions are occurring or imminent".
If that's still confusing, think of it this way: a watch is all the ingredients needed to make severe weather, but no severe weather is currently happening, while a warning is the ingredients have come together and now you need to take action, because the severe weather has formed.
National Weather Service Shreveport has issued a tornado watch for the area until 8 p.m. With a line of storms developing to the North and West across Arkansas and East Texas, the wind and humid conditions are "thunderstorm fuel" with possibilities for hail, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes.
With strong winds it's recommended to secure all lawn furniture and leftover holiday inflatables; with the potential for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, it's recommended to keep weather alerts on and to have a space safe prepared.
Meredith G. White is the arts and culture reporter for the Shreveport Times. You can find her on Facebook as Meredith G. White, on Instagram and Twitter as @meredithgwhite, and email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on Shreveport Times: How to tell the difference between a severe weather watch and warning