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Hurricane Watch vs. Warning

Hurricane Watch vs. Warning

A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible within a specified area. A hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds in an area.

During a hurricane watch, prepare your home and review your plan for evacuation in case a hurricane warning is issued. Listen closely to instructions from local officials.

A hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected within a specified area. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force (39 to 73 mph), a hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the expected onset of tropical-storm-force winds to allow for preparation.

During a hurricane warning, complete storm preparations and immediately leave the threatened area as soon as an evacuation is recommended.

[source: NOAA]