Many of us look to the weather forecast to help plan our schedules and activities. Regardless of the time of year, severe weather can be more than just an inconvenience but also a potential threat to our safety.
The National Weather Service in Grand Rapids issues forecasts as well as the watches and warnings for Jackson County. Both a watch and a warning mean you need to pay extra attention to the weather, but what is the difference between the two?
Often a watch will be issued first, and as the storm progresses, it may be upgraded to a warning. The weather service provides detailed definitions of the weather advisories they issue.
There are a variety of ways to receive weather alerts. Many weather apps provide notifications of weather advisories. Take a moment to look at the settings to ensure you will receive notifications regardless of whether you are in Jackson or traveling outside our area. Local news stations also have ways to sign up to receive weather alerts. Another option is to have a NOAA weather radio. These may work better in areas where cellular phone reception is poor. For local forecasts tune to 162.400 MHz. Information for how to receive local emergency and weather alerts in Jackson County is available on this page.
Each season can bring its own type of severe weather. In the spring, Michigan designates a week in March as Severe Weather Awareness week. Click on the included links on the Michigan MIReady page to learn about how to prepare for a wide variety of weather hazards.
Winter brings additional challenges from cold temperatures, ice, and snow. "How to Prepare for a Winter Storm" covers a variety of safety topics and Michigan specific tips.
Having emergency supplies and plans in place before a storm and monitoring current conditions can make weathering the weather easier.