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| Earth on Apr 14, 2012

National Weather Service tries more urgent voice in storm warnings

Do you think the National Weather Service’s use of words like catastrophic and unsurvivable will help Americans tune in – or tune out – to tornado warnings?

The Christian Science Monitor has a good story today (April 14, 2012) about the National Weather Service’s ongoing tests of phrases like ‘catastrophic’ and ‘unsurvivable’ to describe storm systems that might be headed toward the homes and businesses of Americans.

Tornado in Norman, Oklahoma on April 13, 2012. Via Capt. Spaulding's World

For example, the storm system threatening the U.S. Great Plains today is being called ‘high-end’ and ‘life-threatening’ by the NWS. According to the Christian Science Monitor, the shift to stronger wording came on the heels of the devastating tornadoes in Alabama in 2011 and the early, violent start to this year’s tornado season. They want to know if a more active, urgent voice will better communicate storm warnings and cause Americans to take heed.

Everything you need to know: tornado safety

Potential for a dangerous tornado outbreak in US Central Plains

Recap of deadly U.S. tornado outbreak February 28-March 3, 2012

Many Americans ignore tornado warnings. Will the new stronger language make a positive difference and help save lives? What do you think?

Tornado Norman OK April 13, 2012. Via KFOR-TV

Bottom line: The U.S. National Weather Service is trying out a new, more urgent voice in tornado warnings, in hopes it will cause the American public to heed the warnings. The storm system threatening the U.S. Great Plains on April 14, 2012 is being called ‘high-end’ and ‘life-threatening’ by the NWS.

Read the Christian Science Monitor’s story about the NWS new language in tornado warnings

Everything you need to know: tornado safety