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NWS Adopts Storm-Based Warnings System


The National Weather Service will soon change the way it issues weather warnings. Michele Skalicky has more.

The National Weather Service is making some changes to the way it issues warnings in hopes of making the system more effective. Meteorologist Steve Runnels with the NWS office in Springfield, says the new storm-based warning system will reduce the size of the warned areas.

Entire counties may no longer be warned. Instead, the warnings may be for portions of counties. The new system is designed to mark a geographic bull's eye where a storm will hit, and the alerts will be aimed at specific communities in a storm's path. Currently, alerts go out along county lines. The warnings will refer to well-known landmarks in the area, such as rivers and roads. The storm-based warning system will also make it easier to send weather warnings through cell phones and other hand-held devices.

Steve Runnels says the new system will allow warnings to be displayed graphically much better than in the past.

The National Weather Service will adopt the Storm-Based Warning concept nationwide October 1st.