Definitions of Warnings, Watches, Advisories and Outlooks

Warning

A warning is issued when a hazardous weather or hydrologic event is occurring, imminent or likely. A warning means weather conditions pose a threat to life or property. People int he path of the storm need to take protective action.

Watch

A watch is issued when the risk of a hazardous weather or hydrologic event has increased significantly, but its occurrence, location or timing is still uncertain. A watch means that hazardous weather is possible. People should have a plan of action in case a storm threatens and they should listen for later information and possible warnings especially when planning travel or outdoor activities.

Advisory

An advisory is issued when a hazardous weather or hydrologic event is occurring, imminent or likely. Advisories are for less serious conditions than warnings, that cause significant inconvenience and if caution is not exercised, could lead to situations that may threaten life or property.

Outlook

An outlook is issued when a hazardous weather or hydrologic event is possible in the next week. Outlooks are intended to raise awareness of the potential for significant weather that could lead to situations that may threaten life or property.

NOAA weather.gov/hawaii 
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