NWS service testing new, more intense tornado warnings

NWS service testing new, more intense tornado warnings (Image 1)

The National Weather Service is planning to test new tornado warnings this spring and summer.

The new warnings will use impact words to make the most serious tornado threats stand out from other weather threats.

The testing phrases to accompany the warnings include, “Mass devastation is highly likely, making the area unrecognizable to survivors” and “Complete destruction of entire neighborhoods is likely.”

Nashville's News 2 Meteorologist Lisa Patton said warnings such as those can cause people to become dismissive when it comes to the warnings that are currently in place.

“My fear is people will only pay attention to those, so it's a fine line we're walking to distinguish between the almost absolute and the might be, because the might be can kill someone,” she explained.

On Monday, Nashville's News 2 spoke with several Mid-State residents who said they take all weather warnings seriously, no matter how often they are issued.

“I still pay attention to them. I don't think we're complacent, not yet at least, not for myself and my family,” resident Holly McMurtry said.

Theresa Wagner added, “I always take the ones I see on the news seriously, as it is, so if they say it's a severe threat and they heighten it, absolutely I'll be taking cover.”

The new warnings will be tested in Kansas and Missouri through November.

The National Weather Service will then make a decision on if the warnings will be used across the country after tornado season is over.

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