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ABC 17 News policy on cutting into programming for severe weather

The ABC 17 Stormtrack Weather team is here to alert you immediately if dangerous weather is moving into Mid-Missouri.

For this reason, it is our policy to briefly interrupt programming for severe thunderstorm warnings so we can give you the latest information.

However, if a tornado warning is issued, we will stay on the air continuously until the danger has moved out of the area.

We understand the inconvenience it causes when the show you are watching is interrupted for a warning which may not be in your county.

If possible, the Networks of Mid-Missouri will re-broadcast programming that didn’t air due to severe weather.

Whether a tornado is radar indicated or confirmed by a spotter in the field, the threat for a tornado is real when a tornado warning is in effect.

Some tornadoes will cause damage, others will kill and injure people.

It is our job to warn you if one is approaching.

Tornadoes are often the most feared of all severe weather events. No other weather phenomenon can match the destructive power of tornadoes which form quickly, and cause widespread destruction within minutes.

Most tornadoes are abrupt at onset, short-lived, and often obscured by rain or darkness. The best way to deal with them is preparedness and to act quickly.

The primary goal of the ABC 17 Stormtrack weather team is to track weather moving into Mid-Missouri and alert you to any dangers it could bring.

We cover a large area of Mid-Missouri from north of Highway 36 and as far south as I-44, which includes 23 counties.

If a tornado warning is issued for any of those 23 counties, we will break into programming with the latest information and cover it continuously until the warning has expired or moved out of our coverage area.

ABC 17 News does not issue warnings. Tornado warnings are issued by the National Weather Service, and we are required to broadcast the information.

A tornado warning is issued if a tornado has actually been sighted or if Doppler radar indicates one could form.

Many times a tornado is on the ground but can’t be seen due to rain or darkness. This is where radar data which indicates one could form is very important, and we take those warnings seriously. In fact, due to advances in Doppler radar technology, the average warning time before a tornado hits is 13 minutes, while back in the 1980s it was less than 5 minutes.

Some tornadoes can develop so rapidly that little, if any, advance warning is possible. For this reason, we feel it’s important to take each tornado warning seriously, and warn our viewers immediately, and continuously.

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