What is Storm Team 29 FIRST ALERT?
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Storm Team 29 FIRST ALERT WEATHER promise is to give our viewers an early and accurate heads-up when there are important changes coming in the weather.
As the top weather brand in central Virginia, we are the most trusted source for weather content. To continue earning that trust, our promise is to forewarn our audience of potentially dangerous or problematic weather conditions, as well as changes to the forecast that could be disruptive, keeping our audience prepared to protect their lives, property, and plans.
We do that with investments into people and technology – and strategic planning like this – to *safely* deliver quality weather content with accuracy, urgency and consistency across all platforms, no matter the situation.
Severe weather presents an especially dynamic situation demanding clear communication to both internal and external stakeholders.
Programming disruptions and advertising displacement are sometimes necessary costs for providing our audience with life-saving information.
What Is First Alert?
First Alert is a systematic approach to our weather coverage before and during probable disruptive or severe conditions. It requires us to be leaning forward in our coverage, tracking conditions and changes, without over hyping the situation.
Why Do We Do It?
We want to prove the most timely and in-depth coverage available in the Charlottesville area.
How Do We Do It?
Boldly and responsibly. Communicate the specifics throughout the community, on all screens, with accurate and timely information.
FIRST ALERT – An advance notification that a day coming soon could have a significant weather impact on the community.
FIRST ALERT ACTION DAY – Day-of coverage during a severe weather day so that our viewers can stay safe.
If conditions change and the weather becomes less threatening we will remove the FIRST ALERT from our forecasts and let viewers know that it is no longer a concern.
The guidelines for a FIRST ALERT Weather Action Day will be an Enhanced Risk or higher for severe storms somewhere in our viewing area. We will not issue an Action Day for Slight and Marginal Days unless our data shows disagreement with the National Weather Service, or our meteorologists believe there is a higher risk than being forecast.
Severe Storm Threat: A day where there is a high confidence in a thunderstorm complex having widespread impacts; or moderate or high risk severe weather (large hail, damaging winds) outlook.
Winter Weather Threat: A day in which there is a high confidence in heavy snow, sleet, or ice; a winter storm or ice storm.
Tornado Threat: A day in which there is a high confidence in widespread or long track tornadoes; or a moderate or high risk severe weather outlook.
Flood Threat: A day in which there is a high confidence in widespread flash flooding.
Extreme Heat Threat: Issued in the event of an Excessive Heat Warning, or within the peak of a major heat wave.
Extreme Cold: Issued in the event of record or near record cold or dangerous wind chills.
High Fire Danger: Considered during the peak of extreme droughts, in conjunction with active wildfire occurrences, no-burn orders, and high wind.
WHEN DO WE CUT-IN TO PROGRAMMING?
- Tornado Warning within the NBC29 coverage area (Tornado warnings will trigger the on-air weather alert system & cut-ins by the meteorologist on duty.)
- Tornado Warning approaching the NBC29 coverage area
- Severe Thunderstorm Warning
- Flash Flood Warning
Not all severe thunderstorm warnings are the same – and on-air crawls + digital/social media platforms are very effective ways to prevent disruption of programming while keeping the public informed. The meteorologist on duty will use discretion to determine if a severe thunderstorm warning requires a cut-in based on threats discerned by Doppler radar. If it is determined the weather event will be prolonged and requires additional weather staff to cover it, the meteorologist on duty must make this determination and call in appropriate resources.
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