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What is a StormTrack 5 Weather Alert Day?

As part of our mission to keep you and your family safe from severe weather, the StormTrack 5 Weather Team will begin declaring Weather Alert Days when severe weather will likely occur in the area and impact your safety.

Why are we doing this?

We want to give you the most warning possible on any dangerous weather that may move into the Tri-Cities area. By declaring Weather Alert Days, we are able to give you advanced notice sometimes days ahead of a potential weather danger. We feel that with more than 40 years of experience between the entire StormTrack 5 Weather Team, Dave Dierks, David Boyd and Ricky Matthews are well equipped and prepared to alert you and your family to severe weather danger.

What classifies as a Weather Alert Day?

We may declare a Weather Alert Day when any of the following weather hazards seem likely:

  • Strong or severe thunderstorms which could have dangerous lightning, damaging hail, strong winds or tornadoes.
  • Heavy rain which could cause flooding
  • Winter weather (leading to hazardous road conditions)
  • Extreme heat
  • Extreme cold
  • Damaging winds

Basically, if the weather may impact your or your family's safety, then a Weather Alert Day will be declared in order to give you the most warning possible of the severe weather threat, before a watch or a warning is issued.

How will I know that a Weather Alert Day has been declared?

You'll see changes on our weather graphics, our newscasts and on our social media posts when a Weather Alert Day is in effect.

  • Our newscasts will begin with a special graphic telling you today is a Weather Alert Day
  • On WCYB.com you'll see a banner informing you about the severe weather threat
  • An alert icon will appear over shows that air on WCYB
  • If you download the News 5 app, you'll get a push notification alerting you
  • The banner on the WCYB Facebook page will change- alerting you.
  • If you're subscribed to our text and email alerts, you'll be notified that way

How can I prepare now for severe weather?

The best way to stay safe during dangerous weather is to stay informed. Here at News 5, we provide many FREE ways for you to do just that.

  • Bookmark our interactive radar - which allows you to track storms down to your neighborhood.
  • Download the FREE News 5 WCYB app for Android and iPhone and the StormTrack 5 app for Android and iPhone
  • Sign up for free Text Alerts
  • Like the StormTrack 5 Weather Team's Facebook pages and follow them on Twitter (links here)
  • Make sure you have a way of staying informed if the power goes out. We've partnered with several radio stations in our area. In the event of severe weather such as a tornado warnings, several of these stations will carry our live coverage.
  • Build an emergency kit and learn what you should do if a tornado warning is issued (read more safety tips here)

How is this different from a watch or a warning issued by the National Weather Service?

Watches are issued when severe weather is expected to occur very soon - sometimes only hours before hazardous weather occurs. Warnings are issued when a threat is occurring or will occur soon - sometimes only minutes before a storm hits your neighborhood. By declaring Weather Alert Days, we are able to provide you with more lead time. Our Weather Alert Days do not replace and are not intended to be a replacement to any National Weather Service product. Instead, they're a way for us to communicate to you a weather threat with more lead time. We always have, and always will relay any watches and warnings issued by the National Weather Service to our viewers on air, online and on mobile (latest alerts here).

We are always watching out for your safety - and appreciate your trust during severe weather. Our #1 goal is to keep you and your family safe. Our viewers are like our family, and we want to treat you as such by keeping you informed.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to any member of the weather team, send us a tweet or post a message on our WCYB StormTrack 5 Facebook page.

You can see the latest forecast at WCYB.com/weather.

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