WHSV TV-3 | Harrisonburg, Virginia | Weather

Severe Weather Alert Day Explained

What is a Severe Weather Alert Day?
On rare occasions, the WHSV First Alert Storm Team will issue “Severe Weather Alert Days” (commonly called a “SWAD”). SWADs are an early alert procedure designed to keep you, your family and your property safe.

We issued SWADs when the forecast is potentially dangerous enough to warrant escalating our coverage beyond our normal weather and news coverage. SWADs are issued by our weather team only after careful consideration of the threat level, a detailed examination of the latest forecast models, and discussion with the rest of the weather staff and key news management personnel.

Viewers should pay close attention to and monitor the local forecast on SWADs. We only issue a few of these per year when our confidence is high for a significant severe outbreak. Viewers should know we take an “all hands on deck” approach to SWADs on-air, online and on-mobile to keep them safe.

What is an Inconvenient (or Yellow Alert) Day?
The WHSV First Alert Storm Team will issue “Inconvenient Weather Days” when the weather is forecast to significantly impact specific dayparts such as the lunch hour or the morning and evening commute. While the severity of an event is considered in the decision making process, First Alert meteorologists also consider the duration of an event. For example, a light mist and drizzle all day would be tagged an “Inconvenient Weather Day” before a summer afternoon with routine showers and thunderstorms, when otherwise most of the day is “dry”.

Highlighting a forecast period as “Inconvenient” is meant to heighten the viewers’ awareness of the forecast. Our weather team will color code Inconvenient Weather Days on our three day forecast to draw attention to the disruptive weather. We all know weather changes. Our meteorologists consult with each other before hoisting an Inconvenient Weather Day, as well as dropping it if the latest forecast guidance suggests we’ll avoid a troublesome forecast cycle.

When will you trigger a Severe Weather Alert Day or Inconvenient Day?
A Severe Weather Alert Day is issued when the forecast is potentially dangerous enough to cause us to escalate our coverage. This may include tornadoes, dangerous and destructive thunderstorms, extreme heat index and dangerous wind chills.

Inconvenient Weather Days and Severe Weather Alert days are issued when the weather affects the entire WHSV coverage area.

This is an early-alert commitment to keep you ahead of the severe weather.

This will give you time to take necessary precautions to keep you and your family safe once the storms hit.

How will I know when it is a Severe Weather Alert Day?
When a Severe Weather Alert Day is announced, we will alert our viewers quickly and accurately by using all of our assets. We’ll give you the choice of how you want to be alerted to the threat of potentially dangerous weather conditions.

We will alert viewers on WHSV and users at whsv.com. We will also send out a text alert, a tweet, update our Facebook status, and send out an email blast to subscribers.

When you see the Alert on-air, on-line or on your phone, you'll know potentially dangerous weather is going to affect you in some way.

What should I do on a Severe Weather Alert Day?
Keep it tuned to WHSV News 3, or logged on to whsv.com for updates. We will let you know when and where the severe weather will strike. WHSV.com will also transform into your breaking weather alert center giving you access to live radars, watches and warnings, even live streaming video. You can also learn what to do to stay safe during tornadoes, lightning strikes, icy or blizzard conditions, extreme heat or dangerous wind chills.

All of this information will help you plan the best way to protect your family. And we'll keep you informed until the threat is out of our area. This is our commitment to be the leader in breaking weather coverage. WHSV and whsv.com are your best sources for up-to-the minute and accurate weather information.

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