Behind the scenes of a First Warning Weather Day - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Behind the scenes of a First Warning Weather Day

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

Now that the warm weather is here, the focus of your First Warning Weather Team has shifted from predicting cold snaps and Nor'easters to heat waves and thunderstorms.

While all thunderstorms are dangerous, some can become more powerful bringing a threat to property and life. 

Since our main job is to keep you safe, we declare a First Warning Weather Day to prepare you for severe storms. 

We wanted to give you a look behind the scenes at what a First Warning Weather Day looks like from our end. 

The process of predicting severe weather starts a day or two before the event. With thunderstorms, there are many small-scale factors meteorologists look for to determine the level of risk. 

When those and several other ingredients come together, our confidence in severe weather increases, and we issue a First Warning Weather Day. 

On severe weather days, you see us on the air, but off the air, we are staying busy. 

After spending time reading discussions from the Storm Prediction Center and National Weather Service, we looked at our own data and continued working on the forecast until the watch was issued. 

As the line of storms progressed, tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings were issued by the National Weather Service. 

Our team coverage began early, with the team taking turns cutting into programming to give the viewers an update. 

While taking turns updating the television audience, we also had to cover everyone on social media with updates, while continuing to forecast and prepare for the 4 p.m. newscast on CBS 3.

We went live at 4 p.m. with team coverage on the passing storms. 

Luckily for western Massachusetts, the damage and severe reports were minimal, staying mainly close to the Connecticut border.  Connecticut took the brunt of the severe weather that day.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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