Blacksburg National Weather Service embracing social media - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Blacksburg National Weather Service embracing social media

Posted: Updated:
BLACKSBURG, VA -

Social media is a tool meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Blacksburg did not use two years ago in the hours leading up to tornadoes in Pulaski County. It is now part of their daily routine.

"I think the real advantage of being active in social media, is we're able to let folks know about the potential for severe weather and a warning can only be successful if people have a means to receive the warning, know if they're in the warning, and know how to take action," said Phil Hysell, Warning Coordination Meteorologist. Hysell says the team in Blacksburg sends wireless messages to some cell phones and the weather station is equipped with "Dual Polarization" radar to help notify people in a tornado's path.

"The debris that is picked up can be detected by dual pole and if we are able to see that and tell people there is a tornado on the ground, there is a debris signature on radar, I think that's going to motivate more people to take shelter."

And while Hysell wants to get the message out, he says the team is also monitoring posts from twitter followers and friends on Facebook to narrow in on storm damage.

"I think we'll see more damage images and videos coming our way and our situational awareness will increase as to whether it was straight line winds or tornadoes," said Hysell.

They are working together with the community in cyberspace to make sure people take cover when disaster strikes.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • VA: Man will get warning instead of $525 citation for $.89 drink refill

    VA: Man will get warning instead of $525 citation for $.89 drink refill

    Thursday, April 17 2014 4:43 PM EDT2014-04-17 20:43:50 GMT
    Officials with the VA Medical Center in downtown Charleston say a North Charleston man who was initially federally charged with a $525 fine for an $.89 drink refill will instead be given a warning.
    Officials with the VA Medical Center in downtown Charleston say a North Charleston man who was initially federally charged with a $525 fine for an $.89 drink refill will instead be given a warning.
  • Chelsea Clinton expecting first child this fall

    Chelsea Clinton expecting first child this fall

    Thursday, April 17 2014 7:11 PM EDT2014-04-17 23:11:45 GMT
    Chelsea Clinton says she and her husband are expecting their first child later this year.
    For the Clintons, 2014 is the year of the baby.
  • Sex offender arrested after being found at child day care center

    Sex offender arrested after being found at child day care center

    Thursday, April 17 2014 2:30 PM EDT2014-04-17 18:30:22 GMT
    A man whose record indicates he's a violent sex offender, has been arrested after being found at Shining Star Family Center on Williamson Road.Police say James Marion Floyd the 4th has been charged with being present on the property of a child day care center during business hours, and with two counts of failing to register his address as a violent sex offender. Police arrested him on Tuesday.Shining Star Family Center is a religious-based child care facility that also offers dance lessons an...
    A man whose record indicates he's a violent sex offender, has been arrested after being found at Shining Star Family Center on Williamson Road.Police say James Marion Floyd the 4th has been charged with being present on the property of a child day care center during business hours, and with two counts of failing to register his address as a violent sex offender. Police arrested him on Tuesday.Shining Star Family Center is a religious-based child care facility that also offers dance lessons an...
Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.