Brian Smith, with the National Weather Service office in Valley, says warnings will soon be accompanied by a more descriptive statement.
“We’re taking a baby step approach,” Smith says. “These new warnings that are called ‘impact-based warnings,’ will have bullet statements with what the impact of that storm will be. Right now, we’re only going to be using it in our office for Severe Thunderstorm Warnings.”
Eventually, the new style may be rolled out for many more warnings, watches and advisories. Smith says studies show people don’t always understand what severe weather warnings mean.
“They say, ‘It’s just a Severe Thunderstorm Warning, I’m not going to worry about it,’ but a Severe Thunderstorm Warning can be a storm that might produce quarter-size hail but you could also get Severe Thunderstorm Warnings that are for storms that have 90 mile an hour winds.”
The changes in the warnings may seem minor but it’s hoped the slight differences may provide vital information that could ultimately save lives.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton