Weather Alerts

Four Types of Weather Alerts

The type of alert used depends on the severity and timing of the event:

  • Warning
    • Urgent message that severe weather is either occurring or will occur
    • Updated regularly so that you can stay informed and take appropriate action
  • Watch
    • Alerts you about weather conditions where there is potential for a significant storm or severe weather to occur
    • A Watch may upgrade to a Warning as certainty increases about the path and strength of a storm system
  • Advisory
    • Issued for specific weather events (like blowing snow, fog, freezing drizzle and frost) that are less severe, but could still significantly affect Canadians
  • Special Weather Statement
    • The least urgent type of alert
    • Issued to let you know that conditions are unusual and could cause concern
    • They provide notice of what weather may be coming

Different weather patterns can bring different types of threats or hazards to solicit the above types of alerts.  Environment and Climate Change Canada issues over 20 different types of alerts for the various weather hazards that occur across the country.  Learn more at

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