Wheeling W VA. (WTRF) – Just like Ohio, West Virginia is set for it’s Spring Weather Awareness Week that runs from March 20th to the 24th.

Severe weather can occur at any point and at any time of year. This week, The West Virginia Emergency Management Division, Ready WV, and the National Weather Service (NWS) highlights March 20-24 as “Spring Weather Awareness Week”. This will give the residents of West Virginia an opportunity to learn good practices to stay prepared and ahead of potential severe weather.

National Weather Service highlights March 20-24 as “Spring Weather Awareness Week”.

The first thing to understand when it comes to terminology is the difference between a watch and a warning.

Watch Vs. Warning Explained.


A watch is typically issued by the local National Weather Service office hours in advance of a particular weather event. In a few other cases, the Storm Prediction Center out of Norman, Oklahoma can issue severe watches for thunderstorms and tornadoes.

A watch can outline individual counties or portions of a state a few hours in advance to a particular weather event.

A watch will give you time to prepare a plan in case of the weather event happening.

Think of watch in the terms of baking a cake. A watch is similar to having all of the ingredients ready to create a cake.


A warning is issued when a hazardous weather event is occurring, is imminent, or has a high probability of happening. A warning conveys conditions that could pose a threat to life of property as well.

Warnings are most often issued by the local National Weather Service Office as the event is taking place.

There is little to no advanced warning and you must take shelter/action when a warning is issued. Take cover and execute the plan that you have created ahead of time.

Think of a warning as the cake is made in baking. All of the ingredients (that a watch outlines) has come together and created the warning (of a particular hazardous weather event).

A warning is worse than a watch.

Plan Ahead

Create a plan ahead of time for work, home, and if you are out in case severe weather strikes. This will save time and allow you to know what to do at a moments notice. This includes having a severe weather kit for home and your vehicle.

Items to include in a severe weather kit are: water, non-perishable food, medication, wireless car charger, a flashlight, spare clothing, and a blanket.

Make sure you have a safe place to go incase a warning gets issued. Your safe place should be away from windows and in an interior room. Try and put as many walls between you and the outside as possible. A basement would be best, but in your bathtub is also a great place to take shelter.

If your away from home at work or at school, bathrooms and stairwells are the best place to take shelter.

Understand The Hazards

Within the Ohio Valley, we can experience all the seasons within a day and it has occurred. Flooding, tornadoes, blizzards, and high winds are particular events that can happen. Those are only a few listed as examples.

Stay Vigilant and Have Notifications

Have multiple ways to receive notifications from trusted sources when it comes to severe weather. The StormTracker7 Meteorologists, the NWS, and from Ready WV.

Know Where You Live

It is vital that you know where you live and places around you.

The WTRF Designated Market Area (DMA) map for West Virginia.

This bit of information is crucial because severe weather can impact any town and know where an event is and where it is trajected to go is vital in preparation and planning.

The StormTracker7 Weather Team is always tracking severe weather and will provide accurate and reliable information regarding hazardous weather on air, online, and on social as it happens