All Weather News

What’s the Difference Between a Hurricane Watch and Warning?

7 Sep 2017, 4:39 pm

Do you know the difference between a Hurricane Watch and a Hurricane Warning?

With Irma approaching, a Hurricane Watch was issued for South Florida.

Hurricane Watch

A hurricane watch defined by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) means that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or greater) are possible within your area. Hurricane watches 48 hours before it anticipates tropical storm-force winds in that area.

Hurricane Warning

A hurricane warning defined by NOAA means that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within the warned area. Due to the fact that hurricane preparedness becomes difficult once winds reach tropical storm force (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph), a warning is issued 36 hours in advance to allow for important preparation.

For a hurricane warning, all preparations should be complete. Evacuate immediately if so ordered.


For definitions of other tropical alerts, click here.

What Do My Tropical Alerts Mean?

And new this year, Storm Surge Watches were issued ahead of Harvey. Click here to learn more about them.

First-Ever Operational Storm Surge Watch Issued

Stay with WeatherNation for the very latest on Irma.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.