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AccuWeather delivers life-saving advance notice to businesses during an EF3 tornado in North Carolina



An EF3 tornado, with 150 mph winds, injures 16 people and hits a Pfizer facility. AccuWeather clients had a five-minute warning compared to only two minutes provided by local public warnings.

Key Highlights

AccuWeather's expert meteorologists issued a tornado warning for clients three minutes before a local public tornado warning, giving clients a head start to get their people to safety.

The speed of AccuWeather's SkyGuard can provide you with more time to get your people to safety when every minute counts.

AccuWeather's SkyGuard can help you take action faster, reduce risk and liability.

When severe weather hits, every minute counts. On July 19, 2023, AccuWeather's meteorologists provided critical advance notice by giving additional time to prepare for a destructive EF3 tornado in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.

During the severe thunderstorm, AccuWeather's team of expert meteorologists detected the formation of an EF3 tornado that rapidly gained strength. They quickly issued a clearly written, life-saving SkyGuard® Tornado Warning, offering businesses and communities in Rocky Mount a crucial five minutes of advance notice before the storm intensified. This invaluable lead time allowed people to seek safe shelter and prepare, ultimately saving lives. AccuWeather issued the tornado warning directly to decision makers by text, phone and email BEFORE any other source and provided three precious minutes of ADDITIONAL time compared to the government and all other sources. Expert meteorologists were made available for immediate consultation. 

>>READ MORE: When minutes matter: how to plan for and respond to a SkyGuard Tornado Warning

The destructive tornado caused significant damage to property, including dozens of homes reduced to rubble, and injured 16 people. The tornado struck a major Pfizer manufacturing and warehouse facility, resulting in extensive damage and the loss of over 50,000 pallets of medicine.  


On average, organizations that use AccuWeather SkyGuard Warnings receive an average of 16 minutes of advance notice compared to 8 minutes from all other sources. The extra time allows businesses to execute their emergency plans and seek shelter before a tornado hits their facility. It’s proven that these businesses are better prepared and their employees are safer.

>>READ MORE: The cost of a tornado: The financial impact on your business

When a tornado threatens, your business must take steps to protect your people, property and assets. AccuWeather For Business can help you do that. Here are a few actions you can take: 

  • Follow up with your AccuWeather For Business meteorologist for one-on-one consultations to stay current about tornadoes moving through.
  • Follow your company or organization's tornado drill and move to your shelter location. Stay away from windows and large open rooms such as cafeterias.
  • Outside workers should look for a sturdy building to seek shelter in immediately. Sheds and storage facilities are not safe.
  • If you are in a work vehicle, staying inside it is also unsafe. Drive to the closest shelter or sturdy building. If nothing is around, abandon your car and seek shelter in a low-lying area like a ditch. 

Be proactive with AccuWeather SkyGuard Warnings backed by Superior Accuracy™, which will deliver site-specific alerts and warnings well before severe weather hits, giving you much-needed time to prepare. Demo SkyGuard today.

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