A Watch (tornado, severe thunderstorm, etc.) means a particular hazard is possible and conditions are more favorable than usual for its occurrence. A watch is a recommendation for planning, preparation, increased awareness, and to be alert for changing weather, listen for further information, and think about what to do if the danger materializes.
A Warning (tornado, severe thunderstorm, etc.) means a particular weather hazard is either imminent or has been reported. A warning indicates the need to take action to protect life and property. The type of hazard is reflected in the type of warning (tornado warning, blizzard warning, thunderstorm warning, etc.).
Weather Monitoring in Hamilton County
The National Weather Service has recognized Hamilton County as being a "Storm Ready County" due to its capabilities of monitoring and informing the public of severe weather.
As you may know, the weather is always changing in Hamilton County and often requires constant monitoring. Hamilton County Emergency Management constantly monitors the Weather Channel, radar, local TV stations and the internet to keep up on the latest weather information. They also have access to the National Weather Service Office in Indianapolis via telephone and computer. In addition, amateur radio operators, and county and local fire/police departments do weather observing as a part of their daily duties.
As a National Weather Service identified storm front approaches the county, Emergency Management personnel will activate the Weather Center, located within the Hamilton County Emergency Operations Center to coordinate storm spotter activities utilizing amateur radio volunteers and public safety personnel who have been trained by the National Weather Service.
Weather spotter training is offered annually to citizens and public safety personnel by the National Weather Service. This training is conducted in March and is free for anyone who wishes to attend. This training can also be obtained online.