NWS to expand Impact Based Warnings Project

Severe weather

The National Weather Service is expanding an experimental warning project to include more states in the middle part of the U.S.

The Impact-Based Warning project's goal is to "Get people to react appropriately to the warnings. To get the words a little better in the warnings themselves," according to NWS St. Louis office Meteorologist Ben Miller.

The idea is better communication of dangerous tornadic storms and so 12 additional states have been added to the original states of Kansas and Missouri.

Miller indicated that the NWS hopes to create better distinction between low end warnings and a higher end event to get improved attention and reaction from those in the path of a truly dangerous storm.

Words like catastrophic, complete destruction, and unsurvivable are some of the words the NWS will now start to incorporate into warnings for the high end dangerous storms.

The project is a direct result of lessons learned from the Joplin tornado event a couple years ago. According to Miller, "(It's) a reaction to the Joplin, Mo. tornado event as a lot of survivors indicated that they knew there was a warning but (they) didn't react the way they should have." This is an effort to help people know the seriousness of the situation and react in a manner quickly and appropriately.

Miller indicated that it is just too early to tell how this new project is going as there has not been an overwhelming amount of severe weather to implement the new verbage and the project has only been underway a short of amount of time.

You can find more information by going to the NWS St. Louis web site here and look for the Impact Based Warnings link or visit


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