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Social media's impact on recording weather events

Posted at 6:26 PM, Sep 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-25 19:26:13-04

Social media is changing the way the National Weather Service records severe weather.

Warning Coordination Meteorologist Tim Halbach said people send them pictures and videos and they also search for weather-related posts.  

"The direct contact between the public and our office has gone up dramatically because of it," said Halbach.

Halbach said social media posts help them get information out to the public faster. 

"We can put those that information into a warning so that other people downstream from where those storms are going through know hey there's actually been severe weather reported here," said Halbach.

More Facebook and Twitter posts means the National Weather Service can record more tornadoes.

"Particularly with the weaker ones so the EF0's, the EF1's.  Those we're seeing a lot more reports from as opposed to some of the higher one's that we'd get reports of anyways," said Halbach.

As much as they appreciate the videos and pictures, Halbach said safety has to come first.

"If you have the choice between taking a picture of a tornado and getting to your shelter we'd much rather have you go to the shelter and report afterwards," said Halbach.

You can share videos/pictures with the National Weather Service by mentioning on Twitter or by posting on their Facebook page.  

You can share your videos/pictures with our TODAY'S TMJ4 Meteorologists on our social media sites or by emailing