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Author Topic: EAS activation for Severe Thunderstorm Warnings  (Read 3362 times)

Pink Jazz

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EAS activation for Severe Thunderstorm Warnings
« on: June 24, 2016, 01:27:07 PM »

While EAS activation for Tornado and Flash Flood Warnings are a universal practice by all NWS offices, for Severe Thunderstorm Warnings it seems to be more varied by office, and are also not sent to mobile phones for the Wireless Emergency Alerts.  It seems that some NWS offices will request EAS activation for all SVR warnings, some request it on a case-by-case basis, and others don't request EAS activation for SVR warnings at all.

I wonder, does your area ever get EAS activation for Severe Thunderstorm Warnings?  My guess is that the NWS offices that request EAS activation for all SVR warnings are in states where they occur less frequently.

Here in the Phoenix area it is generally on a case-by-case basis with typically only the most severe storms getting the activation.  I can see why our NWS office doesn't request EAS activation for all Severe Thunderstorm Warnings, since they are a routine occurrence with our summer monsoons.
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roadman

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Re: EAS activation for Severe Thunderstorm Warnings
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2016, 12:32:07 PM »

NWS Taunton (MA), which serves the Greater Boston Area, normally has EAS activation for Severe Thunderstorm Warnings.
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Re: EAS activation for Severe Thunderstorm Warnings
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2016, 12:36:30 PM »

Thank goodness no.
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nexus73

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Re: EAS activation for Severe Thunderstorm Warnings
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2016, 07:41:15 PM »

Yes we do over here in southern Oregon.  Our thunderstorms that warrant such alerts are very violent weather events.

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Brandon

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Re: EAS activation for Severe Thunderstorm Warnings
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2016, 07:01:59 AM »

Severe thunderstorm warning here warrant a scroll across the screen. Tornado warnings, on the other hand, warrant activation of the sirens.
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slorydn1

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Re: EAS activation for Severe Thunderstorm Warnings
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2016, 10:44:35 PM »

If they activated EAS for every Severe Thunderstorm Warning here (WFO Newport/Morehead City) it would be going off several times a week almost every week of the year. Then when they REALLY wanted us to pay attention (like for a Tornado Warning) most people that I know would stop paying attention as their favorite TV show is being interrupted again-and for what, nothing bad ever happens when it goes off (so they think).

You know how it is: Unless your (or your neighbor's) property is damaged by the storm, then it was a false warning.

So thankfully, no, they don't.
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Pink Jazz

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Re: EAS activation for Severe Thunderstorm Warnings
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2016, 11:15:36 PM »

Interestingly for some unknown reason, Dust Storm Warnings activate the Wireless Emergency Alerts feature on mobile phones, but not the actual Emergency Alert System.  I wonder what was the reason for the inclusion of Dust Storm Warnings in WEA but not EAS.

Reading the posts here about EAS activation for Severe Thunderstorm Warnings, they seem to support my theory that areas that get them less frequently are more likely to activate EAS than areas that get them more frequently.  Here in Arizona it is done on a case-by-case basis, typically only for the most severe storms.  The last time I think I heard EAS being activated for a SVR Warning here in the Phoenix area was during a monsoon in the summer of 2014.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2016, 11:19:52 PM by Pink Jazz »
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slorydn1

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Re: EAS activation for Severe Thunderstorm Warnings
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2016, 11:25:25 PM »

Interestingly for some unknown reason, Dust Storm Warnings activate the Wireless Emergency Alerts feature on mobile phones, but not the actual Emergency Alert System.  I wonder what was the reason for the inclusion of Dust Storm Warnings in WEA but not EAS.

I'm guessing that out your way that's a really big deal-I would hate to get caught out on I-10 when one of those haboobs blow through. I also guess it's not such a big deal if I were to be back at the hotel watching TV, so I can understand why they would trip the warning on mobile devices and not worry about setting them off on static devices.
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Pink Jazz

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Re: EAS activation for Severe Thunderstorm Warnings
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2016, 01:41:19 AM »

Interestingly for some unknown reason, Dust Storm Warnings activate the Wireless Emergency Alerts feature on mobile phones, but not the actual Emergency Alert System.  I wonder what was the reason for the inclusion of Dust Storm Warnings in WEA but not EAS.

I'm guessing that out your way that's a really big deal-I would hate to get caught out on I-10 when one of those haboobs blow through. I also guess it's not such a big deal if I were to be back at the hotel watching TV, so I can understand why they would trip the warning on mobile devices and not worry about setting them off on static devices.

What about radio?  EAS is both on TV and radio.  Of course someone might have their car radio turned off while people don't often turn off their cell phones.
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ZLoth

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Re: EAS activation for Severe Thunderstorm Warnings
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2016, 02:42:15 PM »

Even though I have a EAS radio, it has been over three months since it was activated for anything beyond the "silent" required weekly test.

The biggest problem I have with EAS and cell phone activation is that it is done on a per-county basis. I was attending a Toastmasters conference last August in Las Vegas, and a thunderstorm (!) was passing through the area on the day of the speech contest semifinals. Immediately after the final contestant gave their semi-final speech, everyone's cell phone went off as the weather office in Las Vegas issued a Flash Flood Warning that tripped everyone's cell phones. For the rest of the day, we were told specifically to turn off the cell phones because EAS activations ignore the silent setting.
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Pink Jazz

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Re: EAS activation for Severe Thunderstorm Warnings
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2016, 02:08:57 PM »

Even though I have a EAS radio, it has been over three months since it was activated for anything beyond the "silent" required weekly test.

The biggest problem I have with EAS and cell phone activation is that it is done on a per-county basis. I was attending a Toastmasters conference last August in Las Vegas, and a thunderstorm (!) was passing through the area on the day of the speech contest semifinals. Immediately after the final contestant gave their semi-final speech, everyone's cell phone went off as the weather office in Las Vegas issued a Flash Flood Warning that tripped everyone's cell phones. For the rest of the day, we were told specifically to turn off the cell phones because EAS activations ignore the silent setting.

This is one of the reasons why Blizzard and Ice Storm warnings were eliminated from WEA (along with the fact that those warnings are not short fuse like a tornado or flash flood), since one of the limitations of the system is that the alerts are sent to everyone in the county.  Very frequently when Blizzard and Ice Storm warnings were included in WEA, there were times when the warnings would only cover higher elevations, yet everyone in the county received the alert.
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Brandon

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Re: EAS activation for Severe Thunderstorm Warnings
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2016, 05:34:41 PM »

Even though I have a EAS radio, it has been over three months since it was activated for anything beyond the "silent" required weekly test.

The biggest problem I have with EAS and cell phone activation is that it is done on a per-county basis. I was attending a Toastmasters conference last August in Las Vegas, and a thunderstorm (!) was passing through the area on the day of the speech contest semifinals. Immediately after the final contestant gave their semi-final speech, everyone's cell phone went off as the weather office in Las Vegas issued a Flash Flood Warning that tripped everyone's cell phones. For the rest of the day, we were told specifically to turn off the cell phones because EAS activations ignore the silent setting.

This is one of the reasons why Blizzard and Ice Storm warnings were eliminated from WEA (along with the fact that those warnings are not short fuse like a tornado or flash flood), since one of the limitations of the system is that the alerts are sent to everyone in the county.  Very frequently when Blizzard and Ice Storm warnings were included in WEA, there were times when the warnings would only cover higher elevations, yet everyone in the county received the alert.

Around here, there is no "higher elevation", and ice storms and blizzards do warrant EAS activation county (or at least part county) wide.
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ET21

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Re: EAS activation for Severe Thunderstorm Warnings
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2016, 09:58:45 PM »

The polygon approach is a much better feature, and I've used it heavily for my forecasts. Eventually blizzard and large winter events will get similar polygon features, but the main problem is computing when and where the heaviest precip will fall. Winter systems are much harder to forecast, especially when you throw in a mix bag of everything over a metro area (Chicago is a great example).

Tornado and Severe T-storm warnings have gotten better in the last decade thanks to cell phone integration, but like said earlier, counties and local municipalities need to get on board first and invest in the system.
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Pink Jazz

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Re: EAS activation for Severe Thunderstorm Warnings
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2016, 02:49:09 PM »


Around here, there is no "higher elevation", and ice storms and blizzards do warrant EAS activation county (or at least part county) wide.

Sorry to bump, but I disagree.  Blizzard and Ice Storm Warnings are not short fuse warnings like Tornado, Flash Flood, or Severe Thunderstorm Warnings, and are typically issued well in advance of approaching winter storms (generally around the 4 AM forecast cycle), giving plenty of preparation time.  Tornado, Flash Flood, and Severe Thunderstorm Warnings, on the other hand, are issued in such short notice with very little preparation time.
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JMoses24

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Re: EAS activation for Severe Thunderstorm Warnings
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2016, 04:50:36 PM »

The EAS in Cincinnati has been activated for thunderstorms and flash floods. I can't recall an EAS activation for a winter weather situation (doesn't mean it HASN'T happened). If EAS was ever activated for winter weather, it was probably for the Blizzard Warning we had in 2008.
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Pink Jazz

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Re: EAS activation for Severe Thunderstorm Warnings
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2016, 03:10:14 PM »

BTW, another warning type that the NWS typically requests EAS activation are Extreme Wind Warnings, both over the original EAS and Wireless Emergency Alerts.  An Extreme Wind Warning is when a landfalling hurricane is expected to bring sustained winds of 115 mph or greater to a specific location.  These are typically issued just prior to when the eyewall of a Category 3 or stronger hurricane affects an area.
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Pink Jazz

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Re: EAS activation for Severe Thunderstorm Warnings
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2017, 02:42:34 PM »

FYI, the NWS is proposing to add higher-end Severe Thunderstorm Warnings to the Wireless Emergency Alerts program.  From what I read, the minimum criteria will be 80+ mph winds and/or very large hail (can't remember the size in inches).  I think this is similar criteria to when many NWS offices request activation of the regular EAS for SVR warnings.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2017, 02:45:11 PM by Pink Jazz »
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ET21

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Re: EAS activation for Severe Thunderstorm Warnings
« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2017, 03:52:26 PM »

FYI, the NWS is proposing to add higher-end Severe Thunderstorm Warnings to the Wireless Emergency Alerts program.  From what I read, the minimum criteria will be 80+ mph winds and/or very large hail (can't remember the size in inches).  I think this is similar criteria to when many NWS offices request activation of the regular EAS for SVR warnings.

I wonder then if we're gonna get into more specific warning criteria with two separate severe t-storm categories (normal and higher end like above) with different coloring and representation on media outlets
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Re: EAS activation for Severe Thunderstorm Warnings
« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2017, 04:16:10 PM »

There was an F2 tornado in Tulsa on Aug 6, 2017. It touched down about 2 miles from here. I found out about the tornado warning that was issued by the built in warning system on my phone. It didn't give a lot of information, so I researched several resources such as Weatherbug and the NWS website. I found very little information. I was at a friend's house and he was watching the Fox affiliate, KOKI channel 23 and they didn't break in with a weather bulletin, which they usually do when there is a tornado warning in any part of the viewing area. Most disturbing was the fact that the tornado sirens did not go off. They went off down in BA but not in midtown. There was some controversy about the sirens not going off.
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bugo

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Re: EAS activation for Severe Thunderstorm Warnings
« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2017, 04:52:03 PM »

The built in warning system in my phone rarely goes off. It went off on an old phone I had for a flood warning in Hatfield, AR a few years ago which was the first time it ever went off. It went off a few weeks ago in Tulsa for an Amber alert and it went off for a tornado warning earlier this month also in Tulsa. It doesn't seem to go off when it should.
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Pink Jazz

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Re: EAS activation for Severe Thunderstorm Warnings
« Reply #20 on: August 25, 2017, 05:17:56 PM »

FYI, the NWS is proposing to add higher-end Severe Thunderstorm Warnings to the Wireless Emergency Alerts program.  From what I read, the minimum criteria will be 80+ mph winds and/or very large hail (can't remember the size in inches).  I think this is similar criteria to when many NWS offices request activation of the regular EAS for SVR warnings.

I wonder then if we're gonna get into more specific warning criteria with two separate severe t-storm categories (normal and higher end like above) with different coloring and representation on media outlets

I know for the regular EAS, different NWS offices have their own criteria for requesting activation in the case of SVR warnings.  Areas where they occur less frequently are probably more likely to request EAS activation in almost all cases, while areas where they occur very frequently probably won't request EAS activation at all.  For NWS Phoenix it seems to be on a case-by-case basis, with the more extreme cases getting the activation.

Perhaps if a separate warning is created, perhaps it can be referred to as an Extreme Thunderstorm Warning?  However, note that one concern with creating a separate warning type for these higher-end SVRs is that it may cause even more people to ignore regular SVRs, since many people do already.

BTW, I just read the proposed hail size criteria for activating WEA for SVRs is 2.75" (baseball sized) or larger.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2017, 05:37:42 PM by Pink Jazz »
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