Chances are, you’ve heard the Eyewitness Weather team talking about a watch, or a warning during bad weather. In fact, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve found yourself inside the lines of a watch or warning. But what are they, and where do they come from?
Watches and warnings are generated by National Weather Service offices across the country. As storms approach, the NWS meteorologists will use radar, as well as some ground truthing (observations from people observing the storm) to figure out how dangerous conditions actually are. Based on the result, the NWS will pop up a watch or warning in an area that needs to brace itself for bad weather.
However, different types of weather phenomena have different parameters. For example, in order for a storm to have a Severe Thunderstorm Warning, it needs to show wind speeds above 58 mph, and/or hail that larger than an inch in diameter.
All of these steps, and the resulting watches and warnings, are all in hopes of keeping you safe.