Sometimes weather forecast terminology can be a bit confusing as to what actions they dictate taking. The National Parks Service recognizes there may be some confusion and wanted to provide a bit of clarity so visitors will know what to do when they hear about weather watches vs weather warning:

  • A ‘Watch’ means be prepared! “Severe weather is possible in and near the watch area”
  • A ‘Warning’ means take action! “Severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. This indicates imminent danger to life and property.”


Are you planning an adventure to a national park?

Planning ahead and knowing what to do in certain situations is key to having a fun and safe experience. (This goes for weather and wildlife!) For weather, you may be visiting a park with a different climate and terrain than you are used to at home. Always look at the local forecast before you leave for a park and again when you arrive.

Remember, weather conditions can quickly change. If conditions in the park are not ideal, be prepared to act. Learn more about the different types of hazards you might encounter in a park, and tips to stay safe HERE

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