Severe Weather Awareness Week: Watch vs. Warning

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Posted at 2:16 PM, Mar 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-15 18:11:21-04

NORFOLK, Va. - This is Severe Weather Awareness Week, and each day our team of meteorologists will be tackling a different question you may have about severe weather. We kick things off with meteorologist Myles Henderson answering one of most common severe weather questions: What’s the difference between a Watch and a Warning?

When thunderstorms threaten the area, you may receive an alert about a watch or warning for your city or county. Sometimes it can be confusing to know what to do. A simple way to remember the difference… just picture a traffic light.

  • Red light is a Warning. You should STOP what you’re doing and seek shelter in your safe place.
  • Yellow light is a Watch. Watch out! Pay attention! Rapid changes are possible.
  • Green light… you’re good to go. No severe weather expected.

So, just like when driving, a red light (a Warning) should bring a stop to your normal daily flow. A yellow light (a Watch) should catch your eye and give you a heads up to future changes.