Watches and Warnings

Weather Alerts

When severe weather threatens, Environment Canada may issue a weather alert to notify those in affected areas so that they can take steps to protect themselves and their property from harm.

These public alert bulletins are issued by Environment Canada and broadcasted by local and regional media outlets in affected or potentially affected areas.

There are two main types of weather alerts: Watches and Warnings.


Watches alert you about weather conditions that are favourable for a storm or severe weather, which could cause safety concerns.


A Warning is a more urgent type of weather alert.

As certainty increases about the path and strength of a storm system, a Watch may be upgraded to a Warning, which is an urgent message that severe weather is either occurring or will occur.

Warnings are usually issued six to 24 hours in advance, although some severe weather (such as thunderstorms and tornadoes) can occur rapidly, with less than a half hour’s notice.

What type of weather might cause a weather alert to be issued?

In Central Alberta, alerts may be issued for a variety of weather systems including:

  • Blizzards
  • Extreme Wind chills
  • Extreme Heat and/or Humidity
  • Freezing Rain
  • Tornadoes and/or Funnel Clouds
  • High Winds
  • Severe Rainfall
  • Hail

What should I do if I hear a weather alert?

If you hear a weather watch or warning for your area:

Take the opportunity to refresh yourself and family members on your Home Emergency Plan. Adjust outdoor activities and travel plans accordingly. Stay tuned to your radio for updates and additional information.

First and foremost, remember: "Be Prepared, Not Scared!"

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