Storm Watch vs. Storm Warning

Storm Watch vs. Storm Warning Rollac Branded Graphic With An Image Of A Roof Overflowing In A Storm

When you live on or near the coast, you know all too well about the potential for severe weather in the form of tropical storms or hurricanes. Since time is of the essence to keep you and others safe when these weather events occur, you will usually hear forecasters issue watches and warnings to alert those who may be in the path of dangerous weather. While the difference between a storm watch and a warning is somewhat slight, being able to distinguish between the two is very important if you want to effectively protect your home.

What is a Tropical Storm Watch?

When a tropical storm watch is issued by the National Weather Service, this means forecasters have detected weather conditions that they believe will set the stage for potentially dangerous weather. When this pertains to a tropical storm, this means conditions are ripe for heavy rain, tornadoes, and very strong wind gusts from severe thunderstorms.

What is a Tropical Storm Warning?

When the National Weather Service issues a storm warning, this is more serious than a watch. Rather than anticipating severe weather events to occur, a warning means forecasters have already observed severe weather taking place near you. Thus, a warning means dangerous weather is imminent and likely to strike your location. 

Are There Different Types of Storm Watches and Warnings?

When tropical storms and possibly hurricanes are forecast to strike an area, the NWS may issue various types of watches and warnings in an effort to alert people and give them time to prepare or evacuate.

For example, a tornado watch may be issued when forecasters detect winds over 58 mph and rotation within the atmosphere that may lead to tornadic activity. Also, hurricane watches are often issued when a tropical storm is expected to strengthen. Remember that once wind speeds are sustained at 74 mph, a storm becomes a hurricane.

How Long Is It Until Watches and Warnings are Issued?

When a tropical storm begins to take shape and is expected to strengthen into a larger, more organized storm, the NWS will try to issue watches several days in advance. In doing so, this gives people time to take the necessary precautions. 

As for warnings, most tropical storm warnings are issued within at least 36 hours of a storm striking an area, while hurricane warnings are typically issued up to 72 hours in advance of an expected strike.

What Should I Do When Watches and Warnings are Issued?

When watches and warnings are issued, be it for tropical storms or hurricanes, the best thing to do is be prepared. For many coastal residents, this means having Rollac hurricane shutters installed on their homes. 

Tested to the strictest standards of any hurricane shutters on the market today, Rollac hurricane shutters:

  • Meet or exceed standards set forth by the Florida Building Code and Texas Department of Insurance
  • Are made to withstand high-impact strikes from flying debris.
  • They won’t pull away from your home when high winds are blowing.
  • They can be controlled via remote control, wall switches, or even an app on your smartphone, meaning they can be closed while you’re still inside.

When watches and warnings are issued for tropical storms and hurricanes, listening sto your local authorities, having a plan in place, making your home and patio storm-proof, and relying on your common sense are all critical to your survival. 

Should you want to learn more about how Rollac hurricane shutters can keep you and your family safe when dangerous weather arrives, contact us today to learn how we can help.