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Buzz! Cell phones now warn of traffic-snarling snow squalls

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Posted at 4:23 AM, Dec 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-20 04:23:06-05

(AP) — The National Weather Service has added snow squalls to the dangerous events that trigger cellphone warnings, along with tornadoes and flash floods.

The goal is to prevent deadly highway crashes like the one triggered by a whiteout on Interstate 78 in Pennsylvania in February 2016.

Cellphones from Maine to West Virginia buzzed a startling warning Wednesday afternoon as a cold front from Canada triggered squalls as it moved through the Northeast.

Researchers say improvements in radar technology and computer modeling are allowing better short-term forecasting that enables the warnings.