Weather Watch Vs. Weather Advisory
by Janet Veverka
Weather forecasters use specific language when communicating the hazards of weather conditions
Meteorologists use specific terminology when defining weather conditions in order to provide the most accurate information to the public as quickly as possible. Terms such as "weather watch" and "weather advisory" indicate different variations of hazardous conditions.
An increase in hazardous weather conditions will prompt a weather "watch." However, this does not mean that the conditions are imminent or will occur in a specific location.
When an event in the weather is either occurring at the time or is imminent, weather forecasters will issue a weather "advisory."
A "warning" is similar to an "advisory" in that weather conditions are occurring or will occur and citizens should take precautions. A weather "outlook" defines conditions which are likely to occur within the next seven days.
The definitions of each term have been universally defined to provide the most accurate explanation of weather conditions to the public and to avoid confusion about their dangers.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations' National Weather Service provides up-to-the-minute information on watches, warnings and advisories throughout the U.S.