Spring? Summer? What's happening?

The warm days continue here in eastern KY. I am sure it has plenty of people scratching their heads and saying, "Is summer here?"

The official answer to the question about summer being here is it doesn't begin until June 20, 7:09PM. So we still have more than a month before it arrives. These warm muggy days have had me thinking the same thing each day. I'll walk outside and get into to my vehicle then start thinking... wow... it's hot out here. By the time I get to work (I only live like 10mins away) the thermometer for my car has adjusted and gives me a reading of like 78 or 76. I'll be honest... when I first walk out I'm thinking I missed the forecast each day. Then the temp shows up in the car and I feel much much better.

The rest of this period will be very sunny and dry. It's a perfect combination to get some yard work finished or some other outdoor project you might have. The reason? It's really not as hot as summer... so these temps are perfect for working outside. As a matter of fact... a construction company has started building a house in my neighborhood and I think that's the first of a couple. Right now is the time to get a move on things :)

We have roughly a month left until we get to the point where fronts, like that one moving in tonight, don't make it all the way through Kentucky. If they do... they usually stop around the KY/TN border and move back to the north and wash out completely. The air is too warm to allow the intrusion of the colder air from Canada. That's all thanks to those higher sun angles and all that warmth getting cranked up in the atmosphere around here.

So the front working through KY won't stand much of a chance.

I'm not sure if you have heard (we aired a story about it) but your cell phone is about to get a little safer. Check out this info from NOAA.

The wireless industry, The FCC, and FEMA will roll-out the WEA's (Wireless Emergency Alerts) system nationwide this year.

The NWS will start utilizing this by pushing extreme weather warnings over the system in June 2012.

Tornado warnings, flash flood warnings and several other high-end warnings will go direct to wireless users in an affected county automatically if their device is compatible.

The following NWS Warnings will be sent out via WEA, and the right column shows what you can expect to see on your phone as the WEA message.

1. What are WEA messages?

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are emergency messages sent by authorized government alerting authorities through your mobile carrier. Government partners include local and state public safety agencies, FEMA, the FCC, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Weather Service.

2. Why is this important to me?
Alerts received at the right time can help keep you safe during an emergency. With WEA, alerts can be sent to your mobile device when you may be in harm's way, without need to download an app or subscribe to a service.

3. What types of alerts will I receive?
  •    Extreme weather warnings
  •    Local emergencies requiring evacuation or immediate action
  •    AMBER Alerts
  •    Presidential Alerts during a national emergency

4. What does a WEA message look like?
WEA will look like a text message. The WEA message will show the type and time of the alert, any action you should take, and the agency issuing the alert. The message will be no more than 90 characters.

5. How will I know the difference between WEA and a regular text message?
WEA messages include a special tone and vibration, both repeated twice.

6. What types of WEA messages will the National Weather Service send?
  •    Tsunami Warnings
  •    Tornado and Flash Flood Warnings
  •    Hurricane, Typhoon, Dust Storm and Extreme Wind Warnings
  •    Blizzard and Ice Storm Warnings

7. What should I do when I receive a WEA message?
Follow any action advised by the emergency message. Seek more details from local media or authorities.

8. Will I receive a WEA message if I'm visiting an area where I don't live, or outside the area where my phone is registered?
Yes, if you have a WEA-capable phone and your wireless carrier participates in the program. For information about which mobile devices are WEA-capable and carrier participation, please visit http://www.ctia.org/wea or contact your wireless carrier.

9. What if I travel into a threat area after a WEA message is already sent?
If you travel into a threat area after an alert is first sent, your WEA-capable device will receive the message when you enter the area.

10. When will I start receiving WEA messages?
It depends. WEA use is expected to begin in the June 2012, but many mobile devices, especially older ones, are not WEA-capable. When you buy a new mobile device, it probably will be able to receive WEA messages. For information about which mobile devices are WEA-capable, please visit http://www.ctia.org/wea or contact your wireless carrier.

11. Is this the same service public safety agencies have asked the public to register for?
No, but they are complementary. Local agencies may have asked you to sign up to receive telephone calls, text messages, or emails. Those messages often include specific details about a critical event. WEA are very short messages designed to get your attention in an emergency situation. They may not give all the details you receive from other notification services.

12. Will I be charged for receiving WEA messages?
No. This service is offered for free by wireless carriers. WEA messages will not count towards texting limits on your wireless plan.

13. Does WEA know where I am? Is it tracking me?
No. Just like emergency weather alerts you see on local TV, WEA are broadcast from area cell towers to mobile devices in the area. Every WEA-capable phone within range receives the message, just like every TV shows the emergency weather alert if it is turned on. TV stations, like WEA, don't know exactly who is tuned in.

14. Will a WEA message interrupt my phone conversations?
No, the alert will be delayed until you finish your call.

15. How often will I receive WEA messages?
You may receive frequent WEA messages during an emergency. Message frequency depends on the number of imminent threats to life or property in your area.

16. If, during an emergency, I can't make or receive calls or text messages due to network congestion, will I still be able to receive a WEA message?
Yes, WEA messages are not affected by network congestion.

17. What if I don't want to receive WEA messages?
You can opt-out of receiving WEA messages for imminent threats and AMBER alerts, but not for Presidential messages. To opt out, please refer to instructions from your wireless carrier or visit http://www.ctia.org/wea for more information.

18. The NWS issues warnings for smaller areas - called polygons. Will my cell phone receive the tornado warning alert if my location is outside of this polygon?
Your cell phone will pick up the tornado warning alert since it was issued for a part of the county you are located in (only county code is used - all or nothing). The current (2012) software program isn't capable of narrowing down the alert for just those cell phones located within the polygon warning.

19. How will I receive alerts if I don't have a WEA-capable device?
WEA is one of many ways you can receive emergency notifications. Other sources include NOAA Weather Radio, news media coverage, the Emergency Alert System on radio and TV broadcasts, social media, and other alerting methods offered by local and state public safety agencies. Your best use of WEA is to immediately seek additional information about the imminent threat impacting your area.

Exciting and potentially lifesaving help will be coming soon!

C-Ya Bye

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