Alert Types

Severe Thunderstorm Warnings

Threats from severe thunderstorms include: Large (or possibly giant) hailstones, Heavy Rainfall (that may lead to flash flooding), Damaging winds, Destructive winds or Tornadoes.

Severe thunderstorms represent the most common threat to property and the community throughout the year and are the main type of alert sent. Alerts are issued via Email and SMS.

The aim of our service is to deliver a timely alert when a severe thunderstorm is near or approaching your registered address. A constant watch is kept on BoM warnings, radar and our observation network to achieve this. However, thunderstorm weather is ever-changing and it is not possible to cover all scenarios. Radar images or warning products can be late, and thunderstorms can and do form and dissipate very quickly at times.

It is important to accept that it is almost impossible to alert everyone on time during thunderstorm weather. Additionally, many adjacent areas may get an alert but not experience a thunderstorm.

Often the BoM warnings are not issued until some severe weather has already occurred or been observed. This is quite often the case for heavy rain warnings. Keep in mind creeks and streams may continue to rise and roads become cut after the heavy rain has eased or even stopped.



Severe Weather Warnings (unrelated to thunderstorms)

Intense low pressure systems and troughs (elongated areas of low pressure) may lead to warnings for phenomena such as:

  • Damaging Winds
  • Localised Damaging Winds
  • Hazardous Winds
  • Destructive Winds
  • Locally Destructive Winds
  • Heavy Rain
  • Heavy Rain and Flash Flooding
  • Heavy Rain and Possible Flooding
  • Damaging Winds and Heavy Rain
  • Blizzard Conditions

NSW Incident Alerts will issue Email and SMS alerts for these events. There is often a lengthy lead-in time before any severe weather occurs. This does provide plenty of time to prepare, though it also means some events may fail to actually become as severe as forecast due to the weather patterns being less intense or focusing into another region.



Flood Watches and Flood Warnings

Email, and SMS alerts will be issued for Flood Watches and Flood Warnings.



Tropical Cyclone Watches and Tropical Cyclone Warnings

Email and SMS Alerts will be issued for tropical cyclone watches and warnings. NSW Incident Alerts does not send every tropical cyclone advice update - only initial warnings and when the situation escalates. For example, when a category 1 cyclone intensifies to category 2. The local community will know the risks and are advised to monitor the Bureau of Meteorology's warnings webpage directly once they receive an alert.



Fire Weather Warnings

NSW Incident Alerts will issue Fire Weather Warnings to the geographic regions they apply to when the fire danger is Severe, Extreme or Catastrophic. The alert will typically be sent the day before the threat, or updated in the morning if the areas have extended. Fire Weather Warnings are often associated with Total Fire Bans but only the Fire Weather Warning will be issued. These alerts are normally sent by Email and SMS, though for ongoing events SMS will not be issued every day.




Alerts will be issued via Email and SMS for tsunami threats.




Alerts will be sent via Email and SMS for bushfire Watch and Act and Emergency warnings. This information is sourced from the NSW Rural Fire Service. The timeliness of bushfire alerts is dependent on what is made public by the NSW Rural Fire Service. NSW Incident Alerts only issues the first Watch & Act and/or the first Emergency Warning for an event - updated information should then be sourced from the NSW Rural Fire Service.



Alert Filtering

The alerts sent are NOT automated - EWN alert managers check all content, and filter out duplicate warnings.

Alerts may be sent at any time of the day or night. However we do try to limit alerts sent between the hours of 10pm and 6am unless it is a serious situation.

Severe Weather Warnings issued by the BoM during late evening or pre-dawn may be delayed until morning if there is a long lead-in time before the severe weather is expected.