All Weather News

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

2 Oct 2016, 12:48 pm

Hurricane Matthew is impacting some of the Caribbean Islands.

What exactly is a hurricane watch?

A hurricane watch defined by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) means that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible within that certain location. A hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds in an area.

If you are ever issued under a hurricane watch make sure you prepare your home and review your plan for evacuation.

What exactly is a 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.

During a hurricane warning, complete storm preparations and immediately leave the threatened area if directed by local officials.


Of course in a watch or warning situation always listen closely to instructions from local officials.

Source: NOAA

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