Watch vs. Warning- What it means to you - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Watch vs. Warning- What it means to you

(Source: WMBF News) (Source: WMBF News)
WATCH WATCH
WARNINGS WARNINGS

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF)- When a watch or warning is issued for a tropical system, time is of the essence. The first step in being prepared is to know what you’re preparing for.

Tropical Storm Watch: An announcement that tropical-storm conditions are possible within the specified area.
Hurricane Watch: hurricane conditions are possible within the specified area.

Because outside preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, watches are issued 48 hours in before the onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

When a watch is issued, pay close attention to the local forecast. Keep in mind this forecast will be updated and changed several times a day. Systems can speed up, slow down or change course. As soon as a watch is issued you should start gathering materials to protect your house and make a “To Do” list in case the situation worsens. This is the beginning of your preparation phase.

Tropical Storm Warning: Tropical-storm conditions are expected within the specified area.
Hurricane Warning: Hurricane conditions are expected within the specified area.
Warnings are issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

When a warning is issued you should finish making storm preparations. Pay close attention to messages from county emergency management as well as the local forecast. Have a list of things you need and things that need to be done if you are instructed to evacuate. You should be ready to evacuate immediately if directed by local officials.

Extreme Wind Warning - Extreme sustained winds of a major hurricane (115 mph or greater), usually associated with the eyewall, are expected to begin within an hour. You should take immediate shelter in the safe area of your house. Similar to a tornado warning.

Keep in mind, there could also be other watches and warnings to pay attention to, such as flooding and tornado warnings. This is where the First Alert Weather app could be vital. The app gets alerts straight from the National Weather Service and the First Alert Team also has the ability to push out additional alerts and information special to our area. The app and your phone could be the life-line of information during an evacuation or if the power is out.

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