What is a First Alert Weather Day?

Updated: Mar. 10, 2018 at 2:19 PM CST
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(WAFF) - The WAFF 48 First Alert Weather Team is committed to keeping you and your family safe when severe weather impacts the Tennessee Valley. That’s why we developed our First Alert weather system, including the First Alert Weather Day, to give you an advanced warning ahead of the threat.

Q: What is a First Alert Weather Day?

A. It’s a day when you can expect to have a significant impact from the weather. It can range from strong to severe storms and tornadoes to extreme cold. Our mission is to give you as much advanced notice on weather that could have a big impact on you and your family. The process begins when we give the “First Alert” on the 7 Day forecast. We do this when we see these possible forecast conditions coming together. If confidence is high early in the forecast process we will go straight to a First Alert Weather Day. There are some cases when we hold off on issuing the alert day due to uncertainty. We take this forecast very seriously and do it to alert you - not alarm you.

Q: What is the difference between giving you First Alert on the 7-Day forecast and issuing a First Alert Weather Day?

A: Our team of meteorologists is always trying to keep you ahead of the weather. When we see potential weather that could have a significant impact on you and your family we paint the bar red on the 7-Day and give you a “First Alert”. It’s a heads-up. It’s our way of saying this day could have a big impact on your health, your safety, and your plans. When we have a First Alert out we urge you to keep checking back often for updates on a developing weather situation. We issue the actual First Alert Weather Day when our confidence in this weather event increases.

Q: Is a First Alert Weather Day the same as the National Weather Service watch and warning system?

A: While we value our partnership with the NWS and keep in contact with them on a daily basis, our First Alert Weather Days are issued by our own team of meteorologists. The NWS has different criteria for some events. Also, some of the warnings from NWS are based on shorter time frames and smaller areas.

Q: What can I expect on a First Alert Weather Day?

A: Once a First Alert Day is declared you can expect increased weather coverage in all shows on WAFF 48. You will also see more updates online, on social media, and on our First Alert Weather App. You will see a First Alert Weather Day logo on your television, phone, or computer screen throughout the event reminding you of the potential for impactful weather.

Q: Can I contact WAFF with specific questions during a First Alert Weather Day or prior to a First Alert Weather Day?

A: Yes! Our team of meteorologists will conduct several Facebook Lives and live streams on our apps to answer your questions. You can easily reach us on social media by using the hashtag #WAFF48 to share your information, pictures, and videos.

Q: Will WAFF ever cancel a First Alert Weather Day after it has been declared?

A: Our goal is not only to provide a heads up and warning but to let you know as soon as the threat has passed. We cancel the alert as soon as possible.

Q: What are some examples of impactful weather that would require a First Alert Weather Day?

A: Damaging winds, tornadoes, large hail, flash flooding, excessive heat, poor air quality, wildfires, winter weather, hazardous driving conditions caused by weather, and extreme heat/cold.

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