A change is coming to a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) near you. If that name doesn’t ring a bell, it’s the system that pushes those automatic notifications to your smartphone, announcing things like Amber Alerts. Until now, only a few types of high-end weather alerts were broadcast through the WEA (example: Tornado Warnings), and that list did not include Severe Thunderstorm Warnings. HOWEVER, effective August 2nd, that will change for some types of Severe Thunderstorm Warnings.
As part of this project the NWS will start to “tag” Severe Thunderstorms – adding specific language in the warning to describe potential damage. Here are possible ways this will appear to the end user:
Beginning on the 2nd, if the NWS selects the “Destructive” tag for their Severe Thunderstorm Warning, that Warning will also get broadcast through the Wireless Emergency Alert system… which should cause a lot of noise on cell phones that are currently inside the warning polygon. The NWS has shared a sample of what that alert may look like on your phone – see the included image. You can also do a little more reading on the topic by visiting the NWS website: https://www.weather.gov/news/072221-svr-wea.
Source Butler County EMA
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