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Posted on: April 6, 2017

About the Weather Sirens

Some questions that we received on the sirens:


Why did the siren not go off in my city?  Who sets off the sirens?  When are the sirens activated?
The National Weather Service (NWS) can issue single or multiple severe thunderstorm, flash flood and/or tornado warnings. NWS has the ability to outline very specific geographic areas on its storm-tracking radar with polygons (a closed two-dimensional shape) to mark the locations most likely to be affected.   In the past, when NWS issued a warning, CCSO-EM activated all the sirens in the County. But with advances in NWS technology and the use of the County’s WeatherWarn software, CCSO-EM will be able to automatically activate just the sirens in the storm affected areas of the county based on the NWS polygon.  These sirens will sound for approximately a 1-square mile radius and do not provide county-wide coverage.  The sirens are only activated if a tornado warning has been issued, which means that a tornado has been spotted on the ground or on radar.  


Why do we not have county-wide siren coverage?  
Weather sirens are very expensive to install and maintain.  Current sirens are located in areas with outdoor activities to give participants an opportunity to take shelter. The CCSO-EM encourages you to purchase a weather radio to receive weather warnings and to keep the alerts option active on your mobile device.  In the event of severe weather, we encourage you to utilize local television and radio stations for coverage.

  
As always, please stay weather aware!

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