New snow squall siren alerts cell phone users about bad weather in northwest Michigan

Jan 7, 2020

Cell phones throughout the region let out a siren noise mid-morning Tuesday.

That’s because the National Weather Service added a new weather category to its alert system for snow squalls.

Now, any time there’s snow squall, cell phone users will get an alert.

Sabrina Jauernic, a meteorologist from the National Weather Service in Gaylord, says the new alert is meant to warn drivers. 

“People (who) are going to be the most vulnerable are people who are out driving on any of the area roadways,” Jauernic says of the alert.

Snow squalls are quick-moving storms that bring high winds and heavy snow. 

Jauernic says the alert will help public safety, as drivers can be aware of the storm and alter driving routes.

Only a few National Weather Services offices have tried the snow squall alert across the country, and this is the first winter the NWS has used it for northwest Michigan.