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How to Decode Weather Watches and Warnings – Be in the Know Oklahoma!

Decode Weather Watches and Warnings

This winter, take time to brush up on your weather terminology to help you better respond when those watches and warnings are issued.


Severe Thunderstorm Watch – This means that severe thunderstorms are possible in the area. To respond to this watch, stay alert and get ready to act.Decode Weather Watches and Warnings

Severe Thunderstorm Warning- This means severe weather has been detected and reported, and there’s impending danger. Respond by taking shelter.


Flood/Flash Flood Watch- This implies that flooding is possible in your area. If flood watch is issued, you should take measures to prepare.

Flood/Flash Flood Warning – This implies that flooding is already occurring in your area and as a result you’re being warned to be ready to evacuate. If you’re not indoors, head for a higher ground.


Tornado Watch- This means that tornadoes are possible in your area. The best way to respond is to review tornado preparation checklist, get your family to safe place and have emergency supplies stored in an area where you plan to take shelter.

Tornado Warning-This means a tornado has been sighted or detected in your area and there’s imminent danger to life and property. Move immediately to a basement, a storm cellar or an interior room without windows.

Tropical storms and hurricanes

Tropical Storm Watch – This watch is issued to indicate tropical storm conditions are possible in about 48 hours with winds between 39 to 73 mph. Prepare and gather your emergency supplies as you wait for any instructions from the weatherman.

Tropical Storm Warning- This is issued to indicate a tropical storm is expected in your area in 36 hours. Listen to local weather and news updates and get ready to evacuate.

Hurricane Watch- This implies that hurricane conditions are possible in 48 hours with winds of 74mph or higher. Begin your storm preparations.

Hurricane Warning- This is issued to indicate that hurricane conditions are expected in 36 hours. Now is the time to ensure all your storm preparation measures are complete and be ready to evacuate.

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