GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The National Weather Service is launching a new alert system to warn of severe thunderstorms.
They already have a wireless emergency alert system in place that warns residents ahead of tornados or flash floods with a loud sound.
They’re adding on to their system to warn when thunderstorms are likely to knock out trees and cause damage to homes. The system would also be able to warn when wind speeds exceed 80 mph or there’s hail the size of baseballs.
The NWS says this new addition is especially important as we’re in the middle of severe weather season.
“Especially here in Michigan, most of our damage, death and destruction are actually caused by severe thunderstorms,” Heather Orow, a NOAA Meteorologist, said. “Those winds can actually be stronger than that of a tornado and we have a lot of trees here in Michigan, and we want to make sure people are protected from them when they are very likely to fall.”
The new system is set to launch on Aug. 2.
You won’t have to sign up for the alerts, just make sure the settings on your phone allow for wireless emergency communication.