Weather Talk: Watches & Warnings

Weather Talk

POSTED: Monday, April 14, 2014 - 9:08pm

UPDATED: Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 8:17am

Severe Weather Awareness Week: Monday, Watches & Warnings & How You Should Respond

We begin KETK’s Severe Weather Awareness Week by talking about which National Weather Service forecast office covers your county.

Our viewing area is covered by three forecast offices—Shreveport, LA, Fort Worth, TX, and Houston, TX.

Shreveport covers the majority of our viewing area—19 counties to be exact. These counties include: Angelina, Camp, Cass, Cherokee, Franklin, Gregg, Harrison, Marion, Morris, Nacogdoches, Panola, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, Shelby, Smith, Titus, Upshur, and Wood.

The Dallas/Fort Worth office covers 5 counties—Anderson, Henderson, Hopkins, Rains, and Van Zandt.

NWS Houston serves Houston and Trinity counties.


Each forecast office is responsible for issuing most of the weather alerts you get notifications about. The exception of the issuance of watches is from the Storm Prediction Center. They are the office that usually issues Severe Thunderstorm and Tornado watches.

You might wonder what the difference between a watch and a warning. We’ll explain.


A watch means that conditions are favorable for an event to occur. Common watches issued in East Texas include Severe Thunderstorm Watch, Tornado Watch, Flash Flood Watch, Flood Watch, Winter Storm Watch, etc. Watches can last from a few to several hours. In the event of a watch, you will want to tune to KETK and for the latest information on the event and what you can expect. Also, have a safety plan incase conditions change and the event occurs.

In a watch, keep an eye to the sky and the changing weather.


A warning is issued from your designated forecast office. The definition of a warning is that the weather is imminent or currently occurring. Common warnings issued in East Texas are: Tornado Warning, Severe Thunderstorm Warning, Flash Flood Warning, Flood Warnings, Winter Storm Warning, etc. Warnings can last up to an hour in Severe Thunderstorm and Tornado warnings, while others can last for several hours.

When a warning is issued, you want to tune to KETK and for the latest information and track of the event. You will also want to activate your safety plan and seek shelter and preventable measures to keep you and your family safe.

In a warning, take precautionary measures to protect life and property.


When a watch or warning is issued for any East Texas counties, KETK Meteorologists evaluate the weather very carefully and provide our own forecast so you know what to expect. We want to keep you informed with more than just with a watch or warning information—we want to provide in-depth analysis of the latest storms and what you will see and hear when they arrive. Our KETK Meteorologists provide updates multiple ways: at, on our KETK Facebook & Twitter pages, and via a crawl at the bottom of your television screen.

This week, we will talk about specific ways to respond to an event watch and warning. Also, we will talk about different types of Severe Weather—Tornadoes, Severe Thunderstorms, and Flash Flooding. At the end of the week, we will talk about the importance of having a NOAA Weather Radio.

Continue to check back for more posts on the KETK Severe Weather Awareness Week.

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