Tropical storm and hurricane watches

Tropical Storm Watches and Hurricane Watches are advisories that indicate a given coastal or inland area is at risk of experiencing one of these specific storms over the next 36 hours. A watch does not mean that the storm is definitely going to strike. It is issued simply to serve notice that the probability is high enough to warrant paying special attention. Everyone in an area covered by a watch should watch more carefully for the storm and be prepared to act quickly if warnings are issued.

A Tropical Storm Watch advises that a tropical storm or a developing tropical storm condition poses a possible threat within 36 hours. The watch is based on the risk of tropical-storm force winds (sustained gales of 63-117 km/h) threatening the area. This watch could be issued for

  • a tropical storm
  • a hurricane that might approach an area, but be far enough away that it is expected to bring gales that are less than hurricane force (118 km/h or higher)

A Hurricane Watch advises that a hurricane or a developing hurricane condition poses a possible threat within 36 hours. The watch is based on the risk of hurricane-force winds (sustained gales of 118 km/h or higher) threatening the area. This watch could be issued for

  • a hurricane
  • a strong tropical storm (sustained gales more than 100 km/h) that might strengthen to a hurricane before striking
  • a strong tropical storm (sustained gales more than 100 km/h) that could be accompanied by dangerously high water or a combination of dangerously high water and exceptionally high waves


Notes:

  • These watches are not issued for marine areas.
  • Their nature as a tropical storm or hurricane implies the threat of local flooding from heavy rainfall; therefore, heavy rainfall warnings are not issued.
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