Channel 3 Storm Alert Team attends National Weather Service workshop
The Channel 3 Storm Alert Team spent the day with the National Weather Service (NWS) on Wednesday.
The team met with multiple meteorologists and other broadcasters to discuss weather scenarios they face while forecasting for you.
The workshop had a few purposes: to continue education through weather case studies, improve the relationships between the National Weather Service and us broadcasters, and how to communicate the best to viewers by providing an accurate forecast in a consistent and straight forward manner.
Channel 3's viewing area is split between 4 National Weather Service offices, all of which were represented at the workshop.
Most Tennessee counties and Cherokee County in North Carolina are covered by the NWS office in Morristown, TN.
Grundy and Van Buren Counties are part of Nashville's area.
Atlanta covers all of north Georgia, and Huntsville forecasts for northeast Alabama.
Years ago, there was only one forecast office per state, but that changed in the mid-90s.
"We found that you are a really good forecaster if you live in the area in which you forecast for. So back in the day, Memphis used to forecast for all of Tennessee, not very good in the eastern parts of Tennessee where there's lots of terrain," Anthony Cavallucci, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at NWS Morristown, said of the importance of local weather forecasting.
Individual offices issue their own warnings, watches, and advisories. Some of which have different criteria.
That's why you may see breaks at state or county lines, especially for winter weather products.
"Maybe Georgia is under a Winter Weather Advisory and nothing is occurring for Tennessee, so that just means that things are going to be a little iffy. You're probably going to need to take some ext
ra time to get to where you are going," explained Cavallucci.
To avoid confusion, neighboring NWS offices aim to work together to find a consensus.
"The National Weather Service offices have an internal collaboration tool in which we can talk about why we think something is going to happen or not happen," Cavallucci told Channel 3.
This collaboration also applies to the media.
"Our goal in coming here is to really build relationships with our media partners. Build that trust in which we can communicate with you and you guys can communicate with us," stated Cavallucci about the workshop.
The Storm Alert Team can talk back and forth with NWS meteorologists through an online chat tool.
This same tool allows us to immediately see when watches and warnings are issued, to then share them with you. We can also report storm damage back to the NWS.
The goal for the Channel 3 Storm Alert Team is to come to an agreement on the forecast and the important impacts that you need to know. How it will affect your life.
As a reminder, always make sure you have multiple ways to receive weather alerts because you never know when your power will go out or your cellphone battery will die.
We suggest the WRCB Weather App and a weather radio.