National Weather Service Making Changes To Phone Alerts - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

National Weather Service Making Changes To Phone Alerts

Over the past year, you may have received some helpful text messages from the National Weather Service conveying some weather warnings.  Big changes are coming to that program, though, and the biggest impacts may be felt here in Big Sky Country.

"It's been in the process for many years, but it was actually rolled out last in the middle of last June.  This was a collaborative effort between the National Weather Service, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Communications Commissions and also the wireless carriers, to try and really push the information directly to individual's phones who are capable of receiving these," said Chris Foltz, NWS Meteorologist.

So if the messages are coming to your phone, what kind of warnings can a typical Montanan expect to receive?

"These are really meant to be things, for events, that pose almost an immediate threat life and property and so tornado warnings or flash flood warnings are the primary two mechanisms that we would issue a wireless emergency alert for here in Montana," said Foltz. 

This week, the National Weather Service has decided to drop Blizzard Warnings and Ice Storm Warnings from the phone service, both of which we can see here in the Treasure State, but the change comes at the request of the public.

"This was based on feedback that we received from the public over the last year.  Again, this was a fairly new product that we were putting out there…so there was a lot of public feedback that individuals didn't want this information.  So for now, until we find a better way, the decision was made at National Weather Service Headquarters to stop utilizing the Wireless Emergency Alert to let folks know about a blizzard warning or an ice storm warning," said Foltz.

The good news?  You can still get these warnings, along with many others, in a variety of places.

"Well, there are still a lot of different avenues that individuals can utilize to get the information.  They can go to the National Weather Service web page.  Our local media partners, such as radio and television, are great about getting the message out to help us," said Foltz.

So keep your dials tuned to our station and we'll keep you up to date on all of your weather needs.

 

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