KCRG reports that there are some changes coming soon to the type of alerts sent by officials to cell phone users in life-threatening situations. The National Weather Service has announced that it will now send out alerts for thunderstorms that have the threat of winds 80 miles per hour or greater, or baseball sized hail or larger, to the Wireless Alert System.

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The National Weather Service says that those alerts would be sent in addition to ones already sent out for tornado and flash flood warnings. As KCRG points out, had these rules been in place in 2020, emergency alerts would have went out to phones that were in the path of the August 10th derecho, giving people in the path of the storm up to 30 to 45 minute warning that the high winds were coming.


KCRG reports that WEA alerts are sent to all cell phones that are in an area where a life threatening event is happening. In addition to the weather alerts, the system is also used for other disasters, man-made or otherwise, public safety issues, national alerts triggered by the President, and more.

The changes to the weather warnings will go into effect April 28, 2021.

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