‘Life-saving' weather alerts are undergoing criteria change following public feedback – Yahoo News

The National Weather Service (NWS) can send warnings for inclement and dangerous weather, such as flash floods, destructive severe thunderstorms, tornadoes and snow squalls, directly to your cell phone by using the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system, but new criteria from the NWS has changed how many snow squall alerts are being sent to people’s phones.
A snow squall is an intense but brief period of heavy snow, often accompanied by gusty winds,” said AccuWeather Senior On-Air Meteorologist Geoff Cornish. “It can be extremely dangerous, especially for highway drivers, because these quick-hitting storms can cause sudden whiteouts and flash freezes.”
While snow squall forecasting isn’t new, the warning system is. The NWS adopted suggestions from AccuWeather and implemented a warning system for snow squalls in 2018. Since then, phone alerts have been warning residents when dangerous snow squalls are imminent in order to alert the public of the potential for extremely hazardous travel conditions.
Footage of a snow squall shows just how quickly visibility can be reduced on the roadways. (AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski)
“I liken it to actually driving with a pillowcase over your head,” Warning Coordination Meteorologist at NWS Boulder Greg Heavener told KUSA in an interview. “I mean, it can literally be zero visibility where you can’t see the hood of your car just a few feet in front of your face. That’s how significant these snow squalls can be.”
Until this year, all snow squall warnings triggered a WEA notification, alerting residents of the impending squall, no matter the time of day. But, according to public feedback, the NWS issued too many warnings, especially during the overnight hours.
To reduce the number of warnings and make people more aware of the severe nature of the snow squalls, the NWS created new criteria the warning must meet to send out a WEA notification. As of Nov. 7, snow squall warnings will only trigger a phone alert when it’s considered to be “significant.”
A general snow squall will slicken roads and reduce visibility, but other factors, such as location and time of day, will impact if the warning meets the “significant” criteria.
“Mostly, that has to do with the timing and location of the snow squall,” Heavener said. “If a squall is headed towards a major roadway during the hours of 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., there’s a good chance our meteorologists will add a ‘significant’ tag to the warning and a wireless emergency alert will get sent out.”
Phones across the eastern portion of the U.S. buzzed with alerts on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, with warnings of an impending snow squall.
A snow squall warning will only be issued when the squall develops during a winter weather advisory or if there are no other winter alerts in place. Snow squall warnings do not get issued when a winter storm warning or a blizzard warning is already in place since the wording of those warnings already details the threats such as zero visibility and flash freezes on the roadways.
When a snow squall warning alert comes through the WEA system, it’s crucial to know what to do, experts say. Just like having a safe place to go during a tornado or severe thunderstorm, knowing where to go and what to do if you are caught on the roads during a snow squall is essential.
“Annual highway fatalities from [snow squall] events can exceed fatalities due to tornadoes in many years,” the NWS said in the alert’s initial service description document. “The Polygon-based Snow Squall Warning will provide critical, life-saving information for these short-term, highly localized, extremely hazardous events to our partners in a manner that will allow them to recognize and parse the products to make them available to their customers.”
In the situation that a driver is caught in a snow squall while driving, AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski says the best defense is to “wait it out” by exiting the highway or taking secondary roads where driving at a slower speed is safer. The problem on interstates, he said, is the pressure drivers feel to drive at a high speed no matter the weather conditions.
If you’d still like to receive all snow squall warnings on your cell phone, even those that don’t trigger a WEA, it is necessary to download a weather app, such as the free AccuWeather app.
Want next-level safety, ad-free? Unlock advanced, hyperlocal severe weather alerts when you subscribe to Premium+ on the AccuWeather app.AccuWeather Alertsare prompted by our expert meteorologists who monitor and analyze dangerous weather risks 24/7 to keep you and your family safer.
Your blood pressure performs an essential function in your body, delivering oxygen and nutrients to your various organs and tissues by pushing blood through your circulatory system. However, it's precisely because blood pressure is such a far-reaching function that having high blood pressure—or hypertension—is so dangerous. People with hypertension can develop a range of serious complications, including damage to the heart, arteries, kidneys, brain, eyes, and more, the Mayo Clinic explains.Thoug
Founder says key to Cancer Nutrition Consortium is a 'scientific approach to maintaining one’s nutrition at any stage in the unfortunate diagnosis of cancer.'
This diagnostic tool promotes fatphobia, which can cause more health problems than extra weight, and is rooted in racism. It's time to throw it away.
Hearing aids could help delay or reduce dementia and cognitive decline, according to a new study in the journal JAMA Neurology.
Amid the "tripledemic" of influenza, RSV and COVID, doctors say the flu is getting worse. Here's what to know about cases, symptoms and the vaccine.
For those prone to seasonal affective disorder, a shift in the sleep cycle can impact energy levels. Ben Akiba/E+ via Getty ImagesThe annual pattern of winter depression and melancholy – better known as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD – suggests a strong link between your mood and the amount of light you get during the day. To put it simply: The less light exposure one has, the more one’s mood may decline. Wintertime blues are common, but about 10 million Americans are affected every year by
The science behind CRISPR and gene editing for LDL cholesterol is rapidly advancing. However, some major hurdles remain
New medicines like Wegovy promise dramatic weight loss, but there's a long way to go to make anti-obesity drugs accessible to those who need them.
Are there hair growth pills that actually work? A new study looks at the best supplements for hair growth and thickness.
Is It RSV, COVID-19 or the flu?
Dr. Edith Bracho-Sanchez says she knows firsthand the worry that comes with being a parent amid what some health experts are calling a "tripledemic," with high rates of flu, respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, and COVID-19. Bracho-Sanchez is a pediatrician at Columbia University in New York and the mother of a 14-month-old son who had to be taken to the hospital earlier this year to be treated for pneumonia after having a viral illness. "It was really, really scary," Bracho-Sanchez told "Good Morning America" of her son William's illness, from which he eventually recovered.
EIA projected 2022 power sales would rise to 1,514 billion kWh for residential consumers, 1,376 billion kWh for commercial customers as more people return to work in offices and 1,011 billion kWh for the industrial sector. EIA said natural gas' share of power generation would rise from 37% in 2021 to 39% in 2022 before sliding back to 37% in 2023. Nuclear power's share will slide to 19% in 2022, from 20% in 2021, before rising back to 20% in 2023.
Hall was the only Auburn player named on the list.
Snow fell over Bryce Canyon National Park in southern Utah overnight into Tuesday, December 6, leaving its crimson-colored limestone cliffs and spires draped in white, the National Park Service (NPS) said.The NPS said about two inches of snow fell on the park, and the National Weather Service said more snow could fall by Wednesday night. Credit: National Park Service via Storyful
A busload of passengers traveling from southern Colombia to the northwest corner of the country became buried within seconds under an enormous landslide that left at least 34 people dead Sunday morning. The BBC reported that the bus, which was among several vehicles and their occupants that ended up trapped under the avalanche of mud, trees and rocks in the province of Risaralda, had two drivers and 25 passengers on board when it set off. Other reports, however, said there were about 30 or more
Temperatures skyrocketed to levels that have never before been recorded this late in the year across the far northern reaches of Alaska as a record-shattering wave of warmth encompassed the state at the beginning of the week. Utqiagvik, Alaska, formally known as Barrow, which lies north of the Arctic Circle and is the northernmost city in the United States, soared to 40 degrees Fahrenheit Monday morning, far exceeding the daily record of 26 set in 1972 and surpassing the highest temperature on r
Skin cycling may be all the rage right now, but is it really a must-try for those with more mature skin?
“It was very, very close to being a full-on scandal, but we made it work," the pop diva joked after averting an onstage wardrobe crisis.
Tennessee coach Josh Heupel and his assistants will get a big payday as the Vols lock up a bid to a New Year's Six bowl.
South African officials and scientists on Monday celebrated a milestone towards building the world's largest radio astronomy instrument, which is co-hosted with Australia and aims to unlock mysteries of the universe. The construction launch outside the remote town of Carnarvon, Northern Cape, marks the next phase of developing a complex instrument aimed at revealing events since the cosmic dawn, when the first stars and galaxies were formed. South Africa said it will add 133 dishes to its 64-dish MeerKAT radio telescope to create SKA-Mid in the next phase of developing a so-called Square Kilometre Array (SKA).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *