NOUS41 KWBC 131948



Service Change Notice 13-71

National Weather Service Headquarters Washington DC

248 PM EST Wed Nov 13 2013


To:       Subscribers:

          -Family of Services

          -NOAA Weather Wire Service

          -Emergency Managers Weather Information Network


          Other NWS partners and NWS employees


From:     Michael J. Szkil

          Chief, Awareness Branch

          Performance and Awareness Division

          Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services


Subject:  Blizzard and Ice Storm Warnings to No Longer Activate

          Wireless Emergency Alerts By Default Effective

          November 13, 2013


Starting at approximately 3 pm EST, Wednesday, November 13, 2013,

Blizzard and Ice Storm Warnings will no longer activate Wireless

Emergency Alert (WEA) capable cell phones. These warnings will

continue to be provided over other NWS dissemination services.


On June 28, 2012, NWS began disseminating its most critical

warnings to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) for broadcast

on WEA capable cell phones. Since then NWS has been collecting

public feedback and working to refine the list of NWS warning

types that activate WEA. To make this determination, NWS factors

in the urgency, severity and certainty of the warnings types;

geo-targeting and the capabilities of cell phones.


After reviewing the customer feedback and comments, NWS has made

changes to the WEA broadcast list. These warnings will continue

to be provided over other NWS dissemination services.  WEA

messages will continue for:


- Tornado Warnings

- Flash Flood Warnings

- Hurricane and Typhoon Warnings

- Extreme Wind Warnings

- Dust Storm Warnings


NWS is developing future capabilities which will allow activation

of WEA for weather and hydrologic events based on expected event

impact rather than by warning type alone.  


All major wireless carriers and hundreds of smaller carriers are

taking part in WEA on a voluntary basis. To find out if your

phone is WEA-capable or if you have other questions related to

the receipt of WEA on your cell phone, please contact your

wireless carrier or check the link:


For information about WEA as related to the NWS, please visit:


For general information about WEA, please visit


For information about FEMA IPAWS, please visit


For questions or comments about NWS participation in IPAWS or

WEA, please contact:


Mike Gerber

Emerging Dissemination Technologies Program Lead

NOAA/National Weather Service

Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services

Silver Spring, MD

301-713-0090 x170


Service Change Notices are online at: