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New Wireless Emergency Alerts now issued for severe thunderstorms deemed destructive

Severe thunderstorms are considered destructive when they are capable of producing 80 MPH winds and/or baseball sized hail.

Posted: Aug 2, 2021 12:35 PM
Updated: Aug 2, 2021 9:23 PM

Severe weather can strike anytime here in North Alabama, which is why you should always have multiple ways to get warnings no matter where you are.

In the last few years, new technology called Wireless Emergency Alerts uses cell phone towers to automatically send alerts like Tornado Warnings and Flash Flood Warnings to your phone.

Now, a new Wireless Emergency Alert will be issued for specific Severe Thunderstorms Warnings that are deemed to be an even greater threat to life and property.

Beginning Aug. 2, Wireless Emergency Alerts will now be automatically activated to your mobile device for Severe Thunderstorm Warnings that are deemed to be destructive by the National Weather Service.

These storms can produce 80 MPH winds and/or baseball-sized hail. These particular Severe Thunderstorm Warnings are quite rare, only accounting for 10 percent of all Severe Thunderstorm Warnings issued nationwide per year according to the National Weather Service.

Most of these severe thunderstorms come from widespread damaging wind events such as derechos or supercells that produce large hail and strong tornadoes.

In addition to having Wireless Emergency Alerts enabled on your phone, take the time now to download the WAAY 31 Storm Tracker weather app, which gives you the power to customize settings for your needs and is another source for instantly receiving watches and warnings during severe weather. (Get it HERE)

To personalize your settings, click on Settings, then select Weather Notification Types.

From there, you can choose which severe weather alerts you would like to have sent to your phone. You can also track any storms in real time with exclusive access to the WAAY 31 Storm Tracker Early Warning Radar Network. You can also live stream our severe weather coverage and get our latest forecasts right in the palm of your hand.

Turn to WAAY 31 for everything you need to know to stay safe during severe weather. Chief Meteorologist Kate McKenna, Meteorologist Rob Elvington, Meteorologist Carson Meredith and Ashley Carter will provide you with the most accurate information on storms by using our StormTracker Early Warning Radar Network.

Stationed in Muscle Shoals, Decatur and Guntersville, the radars provide the best data for all of North Alabama by scanning EVERY community in North Alabama.

See all the radars HERE

Access the Muscle Shoals radar HERE

Access the Decatur radar HERE

Access the Guntersville radar HERE

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