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WTVD-TV, the ABC O&O in Raleigh-Durham, N.C. has launched a new weather alert service from Baron Services.

Baron’s SAF-T-Net (Site-specific Alerting for Threats) technology includes the patent-pending Baron Tornado Index (BTI), which sends localized weather alerts for pre-specified locations to WTVD’s viewers via e-mail or text message, up to 15 minutes before a storm hits. WTVD is the first station in North Carolina to bring SAF-T-Net to its viewers.

Processing weather activity nationwide, SAF-T-Net runs each storm cell through an advanced set of algorithms, and if the system detects a storm cell moving toward the subscriber’s specified location, a station-branded automatic alert from WTVD-TV is sent out. SAF-T-Net delivers notifications of dangerous storms to cell phones, smart phones and email accounts using Baron’s storm-tracking technology. While other alerting systems focus on the storm as a whole, SAF-T-Net’s patented processes concentrate on the most dangerous part of the storm and only alert those who will be affected.

SAF-T-Net is available in two versions: Free to the Public and Premium. Subscribers to the free version receive alerts for the entire Raleigh-Durham DMA, while the Premium version only alerts those whose locations fall within the storm’s projected path. The Premium version also features patent-pending BTI technology, which incorporates radar and model data to predict the likelihood of a tornado within a given storm, and rates it on a scale of 1-10. The Free version enables subscribers to designate one location, while the Premium version enables the viewer to select up to four different sites.