MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Did you know lightning kills an average of 73 people each year in the U.S.? That's more than hurricanes or tornadoes! Lightning often strikes more than three miles from the center of the thunderstorm, far outside the rain or thunderstorm cloud, so even if isn't raining, getting an alert well ahead of the storm could save your life.
We are thrilled to introduce lightning alerts that can be sent directly to your iPhone, iPad or Android device. Any time lightning strikes within five miles of your location, a message will pop up on your screen and your device will play an alert. This way, you can stay on top of the latest weather conditions, no matter where you are in the Mid-South.
WMC Action News 5 is the only station in the Mid-South providing these alerts to you in our weather app. It's part of our commitment to keeping you safe and informed as you go about your day.
Don't forget to check out the new "lightning" layer on the interactive map section of the app. With this layer, you can see which storms are producing lightning, as well as the location of the strikes. Just tap the "layers" button (lower right-hand button on the interactive map screen) and then tap the "lightning" button.
A few technical notes:
- Because of licensing restrictions, you must be within 100 miles of our station, located at 1960 Union Avenue in Memphis, TN, for the alerts to work.
- You must make sure the location in your app is set to "Use Current Location." This can be done by tapping the location dropdown at the top of the StormTrack 5 weather app.
- If lightning strikes within five miles of your location, you will receive a notification. You will not receive another lighting alert for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, any new lightning strikes that meet the conditions will trigger another alert.
- To turn the alerts on or off, tap the "settings" button (three horizontal lines in the upper-right section of the app) in your StormTrack 5 weather app and toggle the "lighting alerts" switch.
- You must have alerts enabled in your phone's settings to be able to receive alerts. For information on how to enable those alerts, consult your phone's help guide.