Additions to severe weather warnings - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Additions to severe weather warnings


La CROSSE, Wisc. (KTTC) -- If you read the National Weather Services's warning bulletins during times of severe weather, this upcoming thunderstorm season will include something extra.

It's the hope that adding words to warnings such as considerable or catastrophic will add more awareness in a potential storm situation.

Severe Thunderstorm and Tornado Warnings will be the same as we know them today, but starting this April, impact based warnings will be added to what we are already used to.

There still may be snow on the ground, but before you know it Spring will be here and so will the chance for Severe Thunderstorms.

"Based on all the severe weather we had in the Midwest in 2011, trying to develop a way that we can enhance our warnings and put a little additional information in there, said National Weather Service Meteorologist Todd Shea.

The EF-5 tornado that devastated Joplin, Missouri in May of 2011 spearheaded this Impact Based Warning experiment last year for Kansas and Missouri.

"Kind of let us try to develop something to give planners and emergency management officials more information," said Shea.

Warnings will still be issued as we know them today and on the surface you likely won't notice a difference. The change will be at then end of the warning text that goes a long with the actual tornado warning.

"For example if this is a different type of storm with a very sizable tornado going on those tags will indicated that it is an observed tornado and that we're expecting the type of impact that's catastrophic," says Shea.

And it's the hope that this extra information will help prevent a catastrophe similar to Joplin or the Tornadoes that devastated the southeast.

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