“Watch,” “Warning,” WTF?

Confession: I have no idea what this means.
This is a blog about communications, and communications is never more important than when catastrophic weather is fast approaching.

For decades I have been warned by earnest news meteorologists about weather “watches” and “warnings.” Nearly every time, I confess that I have to stop and say “wait, which one is the serious one?” By the end of the tornado season I sometimes have it straightened out again in my head, but then I forget it all by the following spring.

Yes, I know, this says more about my modest cognitive capacity than the clarity of weather communications. But it does speak to both. Unfortunately, I can’t get smarter. But the National Weather Service (NWS) could get clearer.
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