If you live on the Peninsula, you could see fewer weather watches and warnings on your phone

Posted at 5:16 PM, Apr 08, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-08 17:16:29-04

Hampton Roads, Va. - No matter what type of weather, NewsChannel 3 always keeps you VIPIReady days before storms roll into Hampton Roads.

And the next time a storm affects the Peninsula, the way that NewsChannel 3 warns you for that storm may be different.

"We've really broken things up so we can get the watches and warnings and advisories more specific," said Jeff Orrock, Meteorologist-in-Charge at the National Weather Service Office in Wakefield.

In the past, when coastal flood advisories, hurricane warnings or even winter weather advisories were issued, the National Weather Service grouped Hampton and Newport News together.  York County and Poquoson were also linked.

Now, a decision from the Weather Service, which went into effect April 7, has changed that.

In fact, Newport News and York County are single zones.  But Hampton and Poquoson are linked together instead.

"We kept Hampton and Poquoson together because they share the same body of water. They both share Back River.  Really, you're not going to see any different type of flooding conditions," said Orrock.

One of the big reasons the National Weather Service made this change is because there may be one type of weather on the James River side of the Peninsula, but on the other side, not so much.  So with these new changes, the warnings, watches and advisories are more specific and accurate.

"Let's say we had a lot of coastal flooding, a lot of storm surge.  So if we issued a warning for coastal flooding and we issued it for Hampton, it would also automatically go out for Newport News.  And the problem is as folks know, you can definitely have flooding and storm surge on one side of the Peninsula and not another," said Orrock.

Orrock says some folks may see fewer alerts on their phones because of the changes.

However, the way tornado and severe thunderstorm watches and warnings are issued will not be changed.