Weather alerts: Do you know the difference between watches and warnings?

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One way to keep you and your family safe is knowing the difference between a “watch” and a “warning.”

The National Weather Service puts out watches and warnings for all types of severe weather.

Here in the Valley, we see notices ranging from heat and wind advisories to tornado watches and warnings.

They have different meanings, but they all let you know when you should be weather aware.

When a watch is issued, all of the ingredients are there — weather isn’t dangerous yet, but there is a good chance it could become severe.

When a warning is issued, the ingredients have come together and severe weather is happening. At that time, you should have a plan in place and take action.

“As watches get issued watches mean the alert, warnings mean take action … and then also when you have this severe weather, let people know what you experience. Is it hail? Is it hail the size of quarters?” said Pittsburgh National Weather Service Meteorologist Fred McMullen.

Letting WKBN or WYTV know what weather you see at home helps us get the information back to the viewers, the National Weather Service and in some cases, emergency services.

All severe weather watches and warnings are sent out through our weather apps.

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