Breaking News
More () »

Differences between a weather watch and a weather warning

KARE 11 meteorologist Ben Dery explains the differences between weather watches and warnings as we enter Severe Weather Awareness Week.

MINNEAPOLIS — With Severe Weather Awareness Week here, let's explain the differences between weather watches and warnings

When a watch is issued, it means conditions are favorable for severe weather development, and if a warning is issued, it means severe weather has either been spotted, or it’s imminent based on radar data. 

When a watch is issued, you should monitor TV, KARE11.com, social media or weather radio for more information. When a warning is issued, you need to take shelter and tune in to those channels for more information.

You can think of it this way: A watch is like a bunch of ingredients for a cake — we have flour, sugar and eggs. A storm could have moisture, lift and instability, which puts all of the ingredients in place for something to happen.

A warning is like the cake itself: Severe weather is either imminent or happening, and it’s time to take action.

Watch more WeatherMinds:

Watch the latest deep-dives and explainers on weather and science in our YouTube playlist:

Before You Leave, Check This Out