Know the Difference between a Watch and a Warning

Know the Difference between a Watch and a Warning

| June 07, 2021

We're now in the Atlantic Hurricane Season, running June 1st to November 30th. With NOAA again forecasting an above normal amount of storm activity, you can expect to hear the terms "hurricane watch" and "hurricane warning".  Both terms mean action is needed and your emergency preparedness plan should be ready to go. 

Here's what each term means. 

A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 miles per hour or higher) are possible in a stated area. Experts announce hurricane watches 48 hours before they expect tropical-storm-force winds (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) to start.

A hurricane warning is more serious. It means hurricane-force winds are expected in a stated area. Experts issue these warnings 36 hours before tropical-storm-force winds are expected in the area to give people enough time to prepare for the storm.

We recommend you sign up for community alerts from your town and also download the FEMA app and other emergency alerts. Being informed and ready is the first step in being prepared for an emergency.

Your safety is important to us, so we'll be bringing you important information on hurricanes throughout the next few months. We're here to help!