Monsoon Watch 360: Watches & Warnings


by April Warnecke

Bio | Email | Follow: @AprilWarnecke

Posted on June 6, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 6 at 12:58 PM

The National Weather Service issues a variety of watches, warnings, and advisories during the monsoon season to help keep people and property safe.

But not everyone understands the differences between the alerts.

In fact, some say they're about as clear as an Arizona dust storm.

A warning is more urgent than a watch. For example, a severe thunderstorm warning means a storm with strong winds or large hail is happening right now, or is nearby and about to move into your neighborhood.

It means you should take action, get out of the pool or off the golf course and get inside.

A sever thunderstorm watch is issued farther out, and means a severe storm is possible and you should pay attention throughout the day. It's the same when it comes to dust storms.

A watch means conditions are right for a dust storm, verses a warning, which means there is a dust storm happening right now.

A flash flooding watch means there's a lot of rain in the forecast, enough to cause flooding.

If it's a warning though, flash flooding is happening and you need to watch out. It's a good reminder to pay attention to those watches and warnings you see on 3TV or on your phone.

If you need more information on a specific warning, go to