What’s the difference?
A WATCH essentially means a “chance” this condition will happen and usually covers a large geographical area for a lengthy time period. When a watch is announced, stay alert and be ready to take action.
A WARNING means the said weather is already occurring or is imminent and to take proper protective measures. Warnings are usually issued for much smaller geographical areas and usually for shorter more definite time periods.
Not all watches and warnings meet the criteria for activating the outdoor warning sirens. The best tool to have to be kept informed when watches and warnings are issued is a NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio.