Severe Weather Policy
Severe weather is a major news event. When viewers in our coverage area are in danger from the weather, nothing is more important than getting critical information on the air quickly and accurately. This sometimes means going over cutting in over your favorite ABC programs. The Chief Meteorologist, and/or the Meteorologist on duty will make decisions regarding the severity of the weather and our coverage in consultation with the News Director.
In order to give you, the viewer, a better understanding on how we make these decisions, we put together a list of guidelines that explain when and how we cut-in over regularly scheduled programming.
*Please note that we will always be running a crawl with information on and watches or warning in our viewer area.
- An immediate cut-in with information on the Warning and a radar update.
- If the tornado is confirmed on the ground:
- Full-time, wall-to-wall coverage should be initiated until the tornado is no longer confirmed on the ground or until the Warning expires.
- If the tornado is radar-indicated:
- Return to programming following the cut in, but with regular updates for the duration of the warning.
Severe Thunderstorm Warning
- With hail estimated at 2” or larger and/or winds of 80 mph or higher:
An immediate cut-in summarizing the situation and threats, including the storm’s motion and radar-estimated arrival times, followed by a return to programming. Periodic additional cut-ins as long as the storm maintains its strength.
- For all other Severe Thunderstorm Warnings:
Unless the storm strengthens to 2” hail and/or 80 mph winds, wait to cut in over any programming. Depending on the circumstances, the meteorologist may do brief cut-ins at their discretion, always keeping in mind that viewers are missing their programming.
Flash Flood Warning
- After assessing the potential damage/dangers of the weather threat, the meteorologist may cut-in, returning to programming after vital information has been given. Meteorologist’s discretion on follow-up cut-ins if necessary.