Rural areas matter just as much as urban and suburban areas. This is and has been the philosophy of RedZone Weather since the company was a mere idea. There are 12 counties in southern Alabama and northwestern Florida that are included in our primary coverage area.
Primary Coverage Area
Our primary coverage area provides us with a specific focus zone. If there is a tornado warning issued for any part of our primary coverage area, we are committed to providing live streaming coverage in the RedZone Weather app via our live YouTube channel and via our audio-only system. We also provide live streaming tornado warning coverage on the RedZone Weather Facebook Page via a Facebook Live video. Here are some actual examples of our live streaming coverage on YouTube and another example on Facebook.
I’d like to expound upon this definition since some folks may be new to the storm-based warning system. In 2007, the National Weather Service local forecast offices (the official authority who issues severe weather alerts in the U.S.) made a switch from issuing tornado warnings by county to issuing warnings by polygon, or storm-based warnings. How does this affect the RedZone Weather primary coverage area? Let’s take a look at a three hypothetical examples…
- Hypothetical Example #1: A tornado warning is issued for portions of northern Baldwin, southern Clarke, and southern Monroe counties. Because all of these areas are included in the RedZone Weather primary coverage area, we are committed to providing live streaming severe weather coverage via the RedZone Weather app and on rzweather.com.
- Hypothetical Example #2: A tornado warning is issued for portions of northern Clarke and southern Choctaw counties. RedZone Weather will provide live streaming coverage in the RedZone Weather app since a portion of Clarke County is included in the tornado warning polygon, even though a portion of the warning also includes Choctaw County, which is currently outside of our primary coverage area.
- Hypothetical Example #3: A tornado warning is issued for portions of northern Choctaw, western Marengo, and southern Sumter counties in west Alabama. These counties are not currently included in the RedZone Weather primary coverage area, thus we do not guarantee that live streaming video and audio coverage will be provided during times of severe weather.
Automated tweets on the RedZone Weather Twitter should be posted whenever tornado warnings are in effect for any part of our secondary coverage area, described in detail below. Important: You should always have more than one way to receive urgent weather warnings. Do not use the automated tweets from RedZone Weather as your sole source for getting an urgent weather warning or watch for your location. It is part of a Twitter account after all, meaning “down time” sometimes does happen. This is beyond our control, thus we highly recommend having an app installed on your smartphone like Alabama SAF-T-Net or Weather Radio that can be programmed to alert you if a tornado or other dangerous weather warning is issued for your area.
One of our goals is to continue to grow the company to the point where we can provide a commitment for live streaming video and audio coverage to many more counties across the region. Since we are unable to provide live streaming audio and video coverage for so many places that we strive to support during severe weather events, we do have a secondary service that can be utilized…
Secondary Coverage Area
See the map, above, showing that in addition to the 12 counties in our primary coverage area, we have 33 additional counties in Alabama and 1 additional county in northwestern Florida that are included in our secondary coverage area as of March 10, 2017. This comes to a grand total of 46 counties.
You’ll likely notice that outside of our primary coverage area, this secondary area is our next area of focus. This can be seen in the language used during severe weather events, posts more generalized about the region, etc.
We provide automated tornado warning tweets for all of these 46 counties that you can visualize in the image above. These automated tweets should be posted on the Spinks Megginson – RedZone Weather Twitter account during times of severe weather. I use the word “should” in the previous sentence to emphasize that this is not a guaranteed service. Will it likely work? Yes, but you shouldn’t use it as your primary weather warning source because it is a service that we, as a company, pay for but it is beyond our control if a warning service or Twitter outage will occur when the information is needed most.
Here is an example of a past event automated tornado warning tweet. This tweet was posted January 19, 2019 due to a tornado warning issued for portions of Tuscaloosa and Greene counties in central Alabama. Again, this is a past event for a warning that has long been expired…
Tornado Warning for Greene and Tuscaloosa County in AL until 11:00am.
— Spinks Megginson (@rzweather) January 19, 2019