The National Weather Service is making some changes to the way it issues warnings, in hopes of making the system more effective.
The new system goes into effect at the beginning of next month.
It's designed to mark a geographic bull's eye where a storm will
hit. And the alerts issued will be aimed at specific communities in
a storm's path. Currently, alerts go out along county lines.
Weather service officials say the change will actually reduce
the number of people being warned, by narrowing the geographic
area. The warnings will refer to well-known landmarks in an area,
like rivers and roads.
The new system will initially be limited to warnings for
tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, floods and marine hazards. Plans
are to expand it to include threats such as extreme heat.
Officials say the new system will also make it easier to send
weather warnings through cell phones and other handheld devices.