Severe Weather Resources

| December 25, 2012 @ 5:00 am

With the potential of a major Christmas Day severe weather outbreak ahead, here are some important resources for you…


WEATHER RADIO: The industry standard is the Midland WR-100. It costs about $30.00, is programmable, and has a battery backup. You can buy them at places like Publix. Get more information on NOAA Weather Radio here, and find your county FIPS codes and frequencies here. This is the baseline for all Alabama homes, businesses, and churches.

SMART PHONE APPS: For warnings, MyWarn is a neat app for the iPhone, and iMap WeatherRadio is available for iPhone and Android phones. Both of these apps are polygon based, like the warnings. If you are in a warning polygon, you get the warning alarm. If you are not, you don’t. You can also program in fixed locations, and best of all, you can watch ABC 33/40’s live tornado coverage within the app.

ABC 33/40 has a number of free apps for smart phones and tablets. You can watch our coverage from all of them.

For viewing radar, doesn’t get much better than RadarScope, which is available for iPhone and Android. There is also a wonderful version for Mac OS X.

ARE YOU READY? We have a neat collection of data here that helps you get a severe weather plan together for your family. Some very good information; be sure and see the part about a readiness kit.

ON A COMPUTER: You can watch our live severe weather coverage anytime here; when we are not on the air with local news or severe weather coverage, you see radar.

UNDERSTANDING POLYGON WARNINGS: Severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings have not been based on counties for years. Become more severe storms and tornadoes impact only small parts of counties, warnings are defined by polygons. The NWS in Birmingham has put together this really good module on how the polygon warning system works. If you are using a computer, take a look (it uses Flash so you won’t be able to see it on most smart phones and tablets).

SOCIAL MEDIA: You can hear from me via social media, but most importantly, I can hear from YOU. Your reports are crucial during severe weather. Even if you have not been trained, reports are important, especially from rural areas where the population density is low.

It is important to note Facebook is NOT a good way of getting severe weather warnings since their Edgerank system means only a small percentage of what we post actually gets to your newsfeed; Twitter and Google Plus are much more efficient.

You can find me on all of the major social networks…

Google Plus

I monitor all three during tornado events…


Category: Severe Weather

About the Author ()

James Spann is one of the most recognized and trusted television meteorologists in the industry. He holds the AMS CCM designation and television seals from the AMS and NWA. He is a past winner of the Broadcast Meteorologist of the Year from both professional organizations.

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