Severe Weather Notification System

Severe Weather Notification System

Perry Weather system installed on the roof of a building

Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) has a severe weather notification system at every middle and high school to keep students safe during after-school activities. The notification system alerts school staff of hazardous weather conditions such as:

  • Lightning
  • Low wind chill temperatures
  • High wet bulb globe temperatures (high heat and humidity)

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did PWCS install severe weather notification systems at middle and high schools?

As part of our commitment to providing a safe environment for our students and staff, PWCS installed a severe weather notification system at every middle and high school. This system detects and alerts school staff of potentially hazardous weather conditions such as lightning, low wind chill temperatures, and high wet bulb globe temperatures.

The severe weather notification system is installed near middle and high school athletic fields, and will warn students and staff when hazardous weather is approaching.

When will the severe weather notification system be active?
  • School Days – The notification system will be turned on during after-school hours and turned off around 10 p.m.
  • Saturdays – The notification system will be on from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for practices.

PWCS will activate the notification system for the first time on September 27, 2023.

What happens if lightning is detected near PWCS schools?

If lightning is detected within 10 miles of a middle or high school, an audible alarm will sound for 15 seconds, and a strobe light will begin flashing. The strobe light will flash continuously until 30 minutes have passed without lightning.

Once the area is lightning-free, the alarm will sound off three short blasts to let everyone know it’s safe to resume outdoor activities.

The alarm can be heard up to 500 yards away, so nearby elementary schools and neighborhoods may hear the alarm.

What does the audible alarm for the severe weather notification system sound like?

Listen to the audible alarm. (WAV)

Last updated: September 21, 2023