USA, 16 January 2007 – The NOAA National Weather Service will introduce this fall storm-based warnings for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, flash floods and marine hazards that are more geographically specific for these short-duration weather events. When issuing a warning, the NOAA National Weather Service will specify areas within a county and refer to commonly known landmarks such as highways or rivers. The new warnings will take effect October 1, 2007.
Currently, such warnings are issued county wide. “Weather doesn’t follow geopolitical boundaries,” said retired Air Force Brig. Gen. David L. Johnson, Director of the NOAA National Weather Service. “Storm-based warnings provide the public with more specific information about the location of severe weather and the direction it is expected to move. Seconds count during tornadoes and flash floods. We want to provide the public with the most accurate description of what’s happening in their neighborhood. We also want to avoid warning non-threatened portions of the county.”
“This is a fundamental change in our warning procedures and a major enhancement in our service capability,” said Johnson. “Storm-based warnings will drastically improve graphical displays and empower the private sector to easily distribute the information through Web-enabled PDAs, cell phone alerts, pagers and other technologies. Communicating severe weather threats in this way is imperative in today’s digital world.”