Know where to get your severe weather warnings

Published: Mar. 3, 2022 at 9:54 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 4, 2022 at 6:29 PM EST
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(WHSV) - Virginia Severe Weather Awareness Week begins Monday. Chris Strong from the National Weather Service said having items that can alert you about severe weather are important. Whether it’s a weather radio, the Wireless Emergency Alert System on your phone, or apps like the WHSV Weather App. However, the terrain can interrupt signals from weather radios.

“Certainly there are places that have much better coverage than others you know just due to the terrain...where the transmitters are. So it is just one of the options for people to get weather warnings straight to their homes and businesses,” Strong said.

If your NOAA weather radio has signal issues, you can put an antenna on it to boost service.

“Sometimes you can get antennas that will help with the reception that are external to the weather radio if you are in a poorer coverage area. But it is something that varies from place to place across the Shenandoah Valley,” said Strong.

There can be challenges with receiving alerts in our area due to the mountains even in other ways.

“Here in the Appalachians and Shenandoah Valley area, there are areas where it is going to be more difficult to get those weather messages to you by any of the means that are out there. That’s why again it’s good to have at least a few that you can lean on that work reasonably well in your area,” Strong also said.

One of those other options is with the Wireless Emergency System that all smartphones have.

“There’s wireless emergency alerts which have been a great development over the past few years. If some of our more extreme warnings like tornado warnings and flash flood warnings... the ones that are usually the most deadly weather threats... those will go right across to everybody’s cell phone that’s connected to the tower in the threat area,” said Strong.

Your best bet is to have multiple ways to get weather alerts. If nothing works, some counties may be able to inform you by landline.


  • The WHSV weather app. It’s free and customizable. You can choose the sound or make it silent. You can select which alerts you want to receive
  • NOAA weather radio, there are several to choose from. There’s a map of the NOAA weather radio coverage area at the bottom.



Local areas covered by the NOAA weather radio
Local areas covered by the NOAA weather radio(NWS)

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