Severe Weather Coverage Policy
Updated On: Apr 22 2010 04:42:40 AM CDT
Every person and location in our viewing area matters to us, whether its 3AM or 3PM. Our commitment to you is that if the weather threatens in your location, we're tracking it. Morning, noon or night we are here to keep you ahead of the storm. We come in early and we stasylate if need be and we don't take weekends off, even in the morning.
At the same time, we do understand that you come to us to watch high quality programming and can be frustrated when your program is interupted for coveage of ongoing severe weather that isn't barreling down on your house. We hope that you understand for the people with potentially life threatening weather approaching we are providing useful, important information that is integral to the decision making process.
In the map on the left hand side, you see three areas defined in southern Colorado. In general, these coincide with the population centers in our viewing area.
Area I includes the greater Colorado Springs and Pueblo metros, the greater Front Range and the highway 50 corridor from Canon City to La Junta in a 20 mile wide swath.
Area II includes the remainder of our defined television market.
Area III includes fringe areas that do get our television signal and are areas where a large number of people travel from to work and or shop in Colorado Springs or the Pikes Peak Region.
Progam Cut-in Policy
These three areas are used as an approximation to population maximums and serve as a basis for the guidelines of our severe weather coverage policy, particularly in regards to potentially tornadic thunderstorms. A thunderstorm producing a tornado in area I had a much higer likelyhood of hitting a building and possibly injuring occupants than it does in area II or area III. As a result, a tornado warning for Area I will prompt us to interput regular programming with continuous coverage on television and on radio. Usually in these scenarios, information is coming in so fast due to the amount of people that see the tornado or funnel cloud or are affected by the storm that its prudent for us to stay on the air just to relay information from you or the authorities, let alone tracking the storm itself.
Our policy for Area II is to cut-in each commercial break unless the storm is in a very sparsely populated area, like over Pinon Canyon in northern Las Animas County. We will likely stay on the air with continuous coverage if the tornado has been spotted on the ground or if the storm is approaching a community. No two weather situations are the same and our policy does contain built in flexibility for the on-duty STORMTRACKER to increase or decrease coverage as needed.
A thunderstorm producing a tornado in Area III is treated differently from the other two areas as this techinically is not our home television market. As a result, not all residents can adequately obtain our television signal. However, some residents living on certain hills can only get Colorado Spgrings stations and not the television signals out of Denver. If a tornado is near I25 or highway 83 or is moving toward our area we'll likely do frequent updates during commercial breaks.
Weather Crawl Policy
As we realize this is the easiest way to get continuous information out with least impact on programming, almost all severe weather alerts will warrant a constant crawl or display of the map containing radar and warning information at the bottom of the screen. This system automatically updates warning information from the National Weather Service and will also be supplemented by additional information from us in the office.