watch

(a) (time measurement) A period of time during which part of a ship’s crew is on duty. A ship’s day is divided into five four-hour watches and two two-hour “dog” watches. The two two-hour dog watches enable the crew to avoid or “dodge” the same routine every day. Dodging the watch became known as “dogging,” thence the “dog” watch. Typically, one of two or three groups of watchstanders are on duty for four hours and then off for either four or eight hours, then back to duty. See bells.
WATCHES AT SEA
Middle Watch Midnight to 4 AM (0000-0400)
Morning Watch 4 AM to 8 AM (0400 – 0800)
Forenoon Watch 8 AM to Noon (0800 – 1200)
Afternoon Watch Noon to 4 PM (1200 – 1600)
First Dog Watch 4 PM to 6 PM (1600 – 1800)
Second Dog Watch 6 PM to 8 PM (1800 – 2000)
First Watch 8 PM to Midnight (2000 – 0000)
(b) That part of a ship’s crew that is on duty at any given time.
(c) (weather) A forecast by a weather service that the conditions for a storm are present. Weather watches include those for tornados, severe thunderstorms, high winds, hurricanes, floods and flash floods.

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