NWS to Start Impact Based Warning Format Monday

National Weather Service


PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) The upcoming severe storm season will bring an effort by the National Weather Service to better communicate the threats that Mother Nature could bring.  Starting Monday, the National Weather Service is beginning what it calls an “Impact Based Warning Format”, which involves issuing thunderstorm and tornado warnings that will be short and to the point.  Dave Hintz, NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist says the wording change resulted from a 2011 tornado in Joplin, Missouri that killed over 150 people.

Hintz says the warnings will be written differently than previous years and will be formatted in a way that quickly highlights the hazards that are expected with the storm; along with the source that has confirmed it and offers details of the damage being caused.  He says it’s hoped that changing the wording for warnings will prompt people to respond and not delay seeking safety from a storm.  Hintz says some people ignored the Joplin, Missouri warning, for various reasons.

Hintz says the thunderstorm and tornado warnings will be written in a more concise manner.

Broadcast media and NOAA Weather Radios are among those that will use the new warnings.  This warning method was used last severe weather season in parts of Kansas and Oklahoma and Hintz says it is now being expanded into many other Midwest states.  He expects the new “Impact Based Warnings” will go over well.  Later this year, the weather service will get feedback on the experiment to determine if it will be used nationally.  For more information, visit http://www.crh.noaa.gov/crh/?n=2013_ibw_info.  Hintz spoke Thursday to a group at the Hughes/Stanley County Weather Spotter Training at Fire Station Number One in Pierre.

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