DENVER (KDVR) — Severe weather season is underway in Colorado and with the risk going up for the Front Range and plains on Wednesday, it’s important to know the difference between a severe thunderstorm watch and warning.

A severe thunderstorm watch is typically issued several hours before storms develop. It means to be prepared because conditions are favorable for severe storms to form.

When a watch is issued, it is important to have a way to get alerts for the time that the watch is in effect. We recommend downloading the Pinpoint Weather App and staying tuned to FOX31 and Channel 2 for weather updates on your phone and on TV.

A severe thunderstorm warning is issued when severe storms are spotted or indicated by radar. In order for a storm to be considered severe it needs to contain at least one of the following; hail 1 inch in diameter or larger, wind gusts at or over 58 mph, and/or the threat of a tornado.