Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Weather warnings to change

When things get stormy next summer, it'll be hopefully a lot less confusing when the National Weather Service issues a warning as they are moving from county based warnings to storm based warnings on October 1.

Storm-Based Warnings (threat-based polygon warnings), are essential to effectively warn for severe weather. Storm-Based Warnings show the specific meteorological or hydrological threat area and are not restricted to geopolitical boundaries. By focusing on the true threat area, warning polygons will improve NWS warning accuracy and quality. Storm-Based Warnings will promote improved graphical warning displays, and in partnership with the private sector, support a wider warning distribution through cell phone alerts, pagers, web-enabled Personal Data Assistants (PDA), etc.

I say hopefully less confusing because people will no longer have to wonder if a warning applies to their part of the county, plus the warnings will be more specific, but there is one thing I'm curious about. How will this work with radio where graphical displays are not possible? A lot of people get their warnings from the radio, and this seems like it just may be more confusing, especially for people unfamiliar with the area they are in.

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