What's The Difference Between A ''Watch'' And A ''Warning''?

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By By Steve Pool

SEATTLE - You'll see us mention a lot of various "watches" and "warnings" during the fall and winter months.

A "watch" means that conditions are right for the event to happen. So, for example, if we say there's a "High Wind Watch" for an area, that means that high winds are possible, but not imminent. It's an early heads up that something merits close attention.

A "warning" means the condition is imminent or already happening. Thus, a "High Wind Warning" means that high winds are happening now, or are going to happen in the warning area.

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Sunset Wednesday night from the hills northeast of Grand Coulee Dam looking in the direction of the Carlton Fire.