Today was a bad weather day in the DC area – storms have been rolling through since mid-afternoon, and in addition to the summertime norms of rain, thunder, and lightening, tornadoes (!) threatened. As I read the increasingly intense announcements, I was reminded that I do not understand why a “warning” is more severe than a “watch” when it comes to bad weather. This seems counter-intuitive to me, based on the way the words are normally used. For example:
“I’m warning you… Playing in traffic could get you hit by a car.”
“Watch out! You’re going to get hit by a car!”
Clearly, “watch” is more immediate, and yet, when a storm is coming, a watch is all “ho-hum, whatever” and a warning is “holy shit, get in the basement!”
I can’t be the only one who thinks this is confusing, right?