When it comes to weather alerts, it can be confusing to distinguish between storm warnings and watches.

As a parent, it can be especially challenging to explain these concepts to curious children.

Fortunately, the Normal Fire Department in Illinois has come up with a clever way to explain the difference between a warning and a watch using a beloved food item: tacos.

Use Tacos To Explain Tornado Watch/Warning

According to the Normal, Illinois Fire Department, a "watch" means that the ingredients for tacos are available, while a "warning" means that tacos are already being served.

This simple analogy can be applied to any multi-ingredient food, such as pizza, lasagna, chili, omelets, ice cream with toppings, or even a fancy coffee drink.

Watch : We have the ingredients to make tacos.
Warning : We are having tacos. Right now.


By using a relatable example like tacos, it becomes easier to remember the difference between a warning and a watch. This can be particularly helpful for those living in areas prone to severe weather conditions like Illinois or Wisconsin, where storms and tornadoes can occur unexpectedly.

READ MORE: Watch Lightning Strike Destroy Utility Pole Along Illinois Roadway


Some other multi-ingredient food that could be used to explain "watch vs. warnings."

  • Pizza
  • Lasagna
  • Chili
  • Omelets
  • Ice cream w/toppings
  • A fancy coffee drink

If you're a longtime Illinois or Wisconsin resident you know severe storms and tornadoes can happen when you least expect it. Hopefully, the taco comparison will help us all remember the difference between a watch and a warning.

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.

Breathtaking Photos of Massive Chemtool Fire from Rockton, Illinois Residents

On Monday, around 7 a.m., a Rockton chemical plant burst into flames. These photos from those that live nearby will make you feel like you were right there.

More From WROK 1440 AM / 96.1 FM