Why Lancaster County Is Missing Some Severe Weather Alerts – WSOC-TV

LANCASTER, S.C. — Severe weather warnings help people make life-changing decisions in a matter of seconds, but Lancaster County has had trouble receiving those warnings, leaving many residents with questions when dark clouds gather overhead.

Counties across the country are using the program without any problems. Channel 9 has learned that oddly shaped southeastern counties like Lancaster, South Carolina, are having trouble receiving those warnings and have to look to surrounding counties and their own emergency management to stay informed.

“We look like a frying pan,” Lancaster County Fire, Rescue and Emergency Department Director Darren Player said.

Channel 9 meteorologist Austin Chaney spoke with Player, who said the shape isn’t the only problem; It is also the source of warnings. Counties surrounding Lancaster get National Weather Service warnings from Greenville-Spartanburg, while Lancaster gets its warnings from Columbia.

“Colombia issues these warnings, and it confuses people,” Player said. “People always used to ask me, ‘Does the weather just skip Lancaster County, or does it just happen to happen?’ Well, it just happens to do so.”

The latest example of this warning confusion occurred on April 6. The National Weather Service in Greenville-Spartanburg issued a warning for Mecklenburg, York and Union counties, but the National Weather Service in Columbia did not issue the same warning.

These inconsistencies make people hesitant when it comes to taking shelter or taking emergency measures, says Christine Hoving, a Lancaster County resident.

“You yourself are going to wonder, do I really need to take cover or take emergency action versus if you get the warning, you’re automatically protective and go take cover,” Hoving told Channel 9.

Chaney spoke with two meteorologists to coordinate the warning from the NWS, John Quagliarello of Columbia and Tricia Palmer of Greenville-Spartanburg.

When asked about April 6, Quagliarello said the date could have been handled better, but he also explained the process Colombia went through.

“On April 6, Columbia meteorologists wanted to monitor the storm’s development across York County before issuing a severe thunderstorm warning,” Quagliarello said.

Tricia Palmer says the NWS’s goal is to provide warnings in a seamless, high-quality manner.

“Our goal is always for warnings to appear seamlessly as areas cross the Weather Service Area boundary,” Palmer said.

(Watch: Cold weather destroys peach crops in Cleveland County)

This browser does not support the video component.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *