UPDATED ALERT SYSTEM

New Alerting System
STARTING Sept. 1, 2014

We are excited to bring you a new and we hope simpler way to look at hazardous and severe weather events that effect our area. Many people struggle with the current Warning, Watch, and Advisory system used and this can easily be confusing as to what they exactly mean to you. We have tried to simplify all of this with the NEW Storm Trackers Team NY exclusive Weather Alert System. We have designed a system that as soon as you look at the notification statement, you will know exactly what it means to you and your area. You will only see this system with us! Here is the information you will need to know.

Our Forecasting Monitoring Area Counties:

Eastern Monroe
Wayne
Central & Northern Cayuga
Western Oswego
Northern Seneca
Central / Northern Ontario
Lakeshore Waters from Irondequoit Bay to Oswego NY

New Notification System

There will be 3 notifications levels.

Awareness: An “Awareness” Alert highlights special weather conditions that are less serious than an Action Notification. They are for events that may cause significant inconvenience if some level of caution is not exercised. This would be equal to the current Advisory system used.

Potential: A “Potential” Alert is used when the possibility of a significant hazardous / severe weather event has increased greatly, but its occurrence, location, and/or timing is still somewhat uncertain. It is intended to provide enough lead time so that those who need to set their plans in motion can do so in a timely manor. This would be equal to the current Watch system used.

Action: An “Action” Alert is issued when a hazardous / severe weather event is occurring, is imminent, or has a very high probability of occurring in the very near future. An Action Alert is used for conditions posing a threat to life and or property and urges the public that some type of action is needed. This would be equal to the current Warning system used.

As in the past we will outline on a map which areas are effected by a certain alert level. It’s just that simple! As always your feedback is so important to us. Please let us know how you like or dislike the new system!

Jack Matthys
CEO / Founder
Storm Trackers Team NY

Wayne’s Weather Deck Party

WaynesWeatherDeck1Some of the Storm Trackers Team NY members enjoyed a wonderful dinner with Meteorologist Wayne Mahar at WSTM Channel 3 in Syracuse. The team was chosen to be honored for the work we do with the public. There were also other groups of wonderful people their be honored too. Thanks to WSTM for choosing us!!

New Alerts for Thunderstorms

New Thunderstorm Alerts

We have developed some new terms for our thunderstorm alerts that we issue. Here is how it will work:

We will not being issuing anymore Heavy, Severe, or Tornado Watches for our area. Instead, when we feel there is a threat for strong to severe and even tornadic thunderstorms; we will issue what is called an “Intense Thunderstorm Watch” which means there is a “possibility” for heavy, severe, or tornadic thunderstorms in the outlined area for a certain period of time. When a thunderstorm has reached the criteria we use for issuing Warnings, then a Heavy, Severe, or Tornado Warning will be issued for that specific location. Another new term we have developed is called a Rotating Thunderstorm Warning. This will be issued when a thunderstorm is rotating and although the chances for the storm maybe low for producing a tornado, there is still a chance one could form. We feel it’s important to alert the public to these types of storms, but also careful not to put panic in our viewers. If the chances become higher for a storm to produce a tornado, then a Tornado Warning would be issued.

In our efforts to provide you with the most accurate / timely information our alerts for thunderstorms only will look like this. This is an example:

5:15 PM
Severe T-Storm Warning
Eastern Monroe County

Freq. Lightning: 30%
Flooding Rains: 50%
Hail: 30%
Damaging Winds: 40%
Tornado: 5%

This will help to highlight the threats from the storm by using a percentage to indicate the chances for that condition to occur. ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT T-STORMS CAN CHANGE INTENSITY AND CONDITIONS QUICKLY!

New Storm Trackers Team Text Alert System

**New Storm Trackers Team NY Text Alert System**

We are trying out a new text alerting system for our viewers. Our goal is to get our alerts to you in the fastest time possible. We will continue to post all of our alerts on Facebook as well. Here are the instructions for signing up:

Simply send a text message to the number below and enter in your appropriate code(s).

Number: 7576323329

In the message area add the code you would like to have our alerts sent to you and hit send. It that easy!

*If you would like to be alerted for more than more area, you must repeat this process for each one you want. A separate text message sent for each one.

* All Counties / Lake Ontario: Enter code: @f9cb3d
(You will receive all alerts we send out)

* Wayne County Only: Enter Code: @wayne01

* Ontario County Only: Enter Code: @ontario02

* Eastern Monroe County Only: Enter Code: @monroe03

* Northern Seneca County Only: Enter Code: @seneca04

* Central / Northern Cayuga County Only: Enter Code: @cayuga05

* Western Oswego County Only: Enter Code: @oswego06

* Lake Ontario nearshore from Irondequoit Bay to Oswego: Enter Code: @lakeont07

*You must enter the @ sign first!

You will be then asked to enter in your name. You can make up a name if you would like to. We will not be using the names for anything. Also, we will not be able to see your number. Be advised you cannot respond back to any of the messages sent. We will only be sending messages out when we issue; Advisories, Watches, or Warnings for these areas we cover.

Keep in mind that we have no control how long it takes for text messages to go out to everyone and remember that text messaging cost may apply depending on your plan. There is not a cost though for this service otherwise. We know there may be some bugs to work out, but we hope this system will work correctly on issuing alerts to you. If you have any questions please let us know on here on by email.

Email: stormtrackershotline@gmail.com

Jack Matthys
CEO / Founder
Storm Trackers Team NY

Wind Chill, what is it? 20140122-2

What is wind chill?  Jack touched on it in his previous post but I thought I would dive a little deeper since this has been a common term over the last several weeks.

Wind Chill is defined as the rate of heat loss on the human body resulting from the combined effect of low temperature and wind.

While I am not a native New Yorker, I have been living here for the past 38 years.  I remember in the past seeing incredibly low wind chill values such as -40 and even worse.  What happened? Why are we not seeing extreme wind chill values as frequently in the past?

The first wind chill formula was developed by Paul Allman Siple and Charles F. Passel in the late 1930′s and 40′s.  This was finally made available by the National Weather Service   by the 1970′s.  This formula was based on the cooling rate of a small plastic bottle as its contents turned to ice while suspended in a wind as measured by an anemometer.

As technology and research capabilities changed, during the fall of 2000 a joint research project sponsored by the US and Canadian governments developed, tested and implemented a new wind chill chart.  In the summer of 2001 human trials were conducted at the department of Environmental Medicine in Toronto, Canada.  These trials consisted of a number of male and female volunteers.  Sensors were placed on their faces to measure heat flow from the cheeks, forehead, chin and nose.  By measuring the heat flow in a wind tunnel with a controlled temperature, scientists were able to establish a more accurate “feel like” mathematical formula.  This formula was published in an easy to read chart and implemented November 1, 2001.

The old and new charts below show a great disparity in wind chill temperatures.  So, what I remember as extremely low wind chills are easily explained by a change in the chart in 2001.

wchill-old-chart new_windchill

REPORTING INFORMATION:
Weather Reporting Hotline: 315.332.1043
Email:  Stormtrackershotline@gmail.com

Bill Boggess
Forecaster
Storm Trackers Team

Stay in touch with the Storm Trackers Team of Wayne county for further updates.  In addition to Facebook, you can find us on our website:  http://stormtrackerteam.com/

Storm Trackers Team NY News 20140122-1

Good morning everyone! I just wanted to touch base with you on this arctic air mass that has call our area home for while! Our criteria we use for issuing a Dangerous Cold Warning is when the “real feel” temperature is -20 F or lower for an extended period of time, usually lasting more than a few hours. The “real feel” temperature includes the actual air temp and the wind speed combined. Today the values where generally running about -5 F to -15 F, with a few places down over the Finger Lakes area flirting with that -20 F mark. This generally is below our criteria levels we have set. Yes, it sure it cold out, but not at the extreme levels we look for when issuing this type of alert. Schools are advised from the New York State Dept. of Health to “consider” closing school when wind chills values reach -25 F or lower. It comes down to each school deciding what is best for their district depending on many different factors. We do not advise schools in any way to stay open or close however! I hate to say this, but this bitter arctic air is likely to continue at various stages for the next few weeks, with still some very harsh winter weather ahead. If you are considering going somewhere warm, you may wish to consider Alaska!! Temps in parts of Alaska are in the 40s!! Guess where their cold weather has gone to lol!!

Jack Matthys
CEO / Founder
Storm Trackers Team NY

Updated Warning Alert System 20131120

 Updated Storm Trackers Team Warning Alert System!

We are excited to continue to revise our new alert system to our viewers!  Our monitoring area covers the following locations:

Eastern Monroe

Wayne

Northern Cayuga

Much of Ontario

Much of Seneca

Western Oswego

Lake Ontario from Irondequoit Bay to Oswego NY

The reason why we have created this alert system is because currently we are restricted by terms and time frames that the National Weather Service uses. There are times we may feel different on an upcoming weather event, but due to our respect for them, we followed their terms. We highly support the National Weather Service, but we feel this new system will better serve you. We are however, cautious about any confusion this may cause to the general public by having different terms floating around out there. We feel our terms are more specific to the event we are talking about. The following is a list of our updated terms and a brief definition.

Wind Events:



* Strong Wind Advisory – Winds gusts between 45-55 mph for 3 hours or longer

* Damaging Wind Watch – Wind gusts of 55 + mph for any time frame possible

* Damaging Wind Warning – Wind gusts of 55 + mph for any time frame likely

Flooding Events:


* General Flood Advisory – Less intense flooding situations

* General Flood Watch – Gradual flooding possible

* General Flood Warning – Gradual flooding likely

* Rapid Flood Watch – Quick flooding situations possible

* Rapid Flood Warning – Quick flooding situations likely or occurring



SEVERE Thunderstorm Events:

This will not change on what the National Weather Service Issues!

* Severe Thunderstorm Watch – Large Hail, Damaging Winds, Heavy Rains, Freq. Lightning!

* Severe Thunderstorm Warning – Large Hail, Damaging Winds, Heavy Rains, Freq. Lightning!

* Tornado Watch – Tornadoes, Large Hail, Damaging Winds, Heavy Rains, Freq. Lightning!

* Tornado Warning – Tornadoes, Large Hail, Damaging Winds, Heavy Rains, Freq. Lightning!

NON SEVERE Thunderstorm Events:

* Heavy Thunderstorm Watch – Small hail, heavy rains, freq. lightning, winds of 40+ possible

* Heavy Thunderstorm Warning – Small hail, heavy rains, freq. lightning, winds of 40+ likely

Winter Events:



*Travelers Advisory – Lighter snows, Fr. Rain, Sleet, Fog, Blowing Snow, black ice, flash freezing that falls below warning criteria.

* Travelers Warning – No Unnecessary Traveling Advised

* Heavy Snow Watch – Heavy snowfall is possible

* Heavy Snow Warning – Heavy snowfall is likely

* Heavy Ice Buildup Watch – Ice buildup of ¼” + is possible

* Heavy Ice Buildup Warning – Ice buildup of ¼”+ is likely

* Heavy Mix Precipitation Watch – Heavy snow, sleet, fr. rain possible

* Heavy Mix Precipitation Warning – Heavy snow, sleet, fr. rain likely

* Wind Driven Snow Warning – Significant blowing snow likely

* Wind Driven / Heavy Snow Watch – Significant blowing snow and heavy snowfall possible

* Wind Driven / Heavy Snow Warning – Significant blowing snow and heavy snowfall likely

* Blizzard Storm Watch – Blizzard conditions possible for at least 3 hours

* Blizzard Storm Warning – Blizzard conditions likely for at least 3 hours

Marine:



* Marine Waterspout Watch – Waterspouts are possible

* Marine Waterspout Warning – Waterspouts are likely

* Special Mariners Warning – Thunderstorm events

* Marine Gale Force Warning – Winds of 39-54 mph

* Marine Storm Force Warning – Winds of 55-73+ mph

* Lakeside Flood / Erosion Watch – Significant flooding and erosion possible

* Lakeside Flood / Erosion Warning – Significant flooding and erosion likely 

Misc:

* Dangerous Heat Warning – Feel like temps of 100 F or higher likely

* Dangerous Cold Warning – Temps below -15 F or windchills below -20 F

* Special Weather Bulletins – Issued for updating weather situations

Definitions of Advisories, Watches, and Warning.

The general public has struggled with these terms for years. The easiest way to remember these is…

A “Watch” means we are only watching for the potential hazard.

A “Warning” means we are now warning you of the potential hazard

An “Advisory” means this is more of a nuisance weather event and is less than a “Warning”.

I want to be sure we are clear on this. The National Weather Service will continue to issue their own alert terms as usual and we will begin using our own terms immediately. I am sure we will need to make some adjustments and maybe even add some new terms in the future. You will be kept informed of any changes. As always, we would love your feedback on this. We are excited to bring this to you and hope you will continue to help spread the word on Facebook about us!

Jack Matthys

CEO / Founder