What Is the Difference Between a Storm Watch, Warning, and Advisory?

This week is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Michigan. The Chesterfield Fire Department wants everyone to know how to be safe at home, work, and outside.  As such, throughout the week we will be posting topics about weather safety. Today we look at the differences between a Warning, Watch or Advisory.

Watches, Warnings & Advisories

Normally, a Storm Watch will be issued in advance of the storm (usually at least 24 hours). It indicates the risk of a hazardous weather event has increased (at least a 50% chance of it occurring), but its occurrence, location, and/or timing is still uncertain. It is intended to provide enough lead time so you can make plans to stay safe.

As the event becomes imminent, a watch will normally be upgraded to either a warning or an advisory (which indicates an 80% or greater probability of occurence). A Warning indicates that conditions pose a threat to life or property, and that travel will become difficult to impossible. An Advisory indicates conditions pose a significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.

Remember to always be aware of the weather, and be sure your family knows what to do as well!