NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The new tornado and thunderstorm warning systems being tested in the Great Plains could also be tried out here in North Texas.
Tornado warnings in Kansas and Missouri will now be accompanied by language like, “mass devastation is highly likely” and “mobile homes and outbuildings will offer no shelter from this tornado.”
Officials said too often people were simply ignoring tornado warnings and they believe the irreverence had a devastating effect last year in Missouri.
“One of the findings of the Joplin tornado disaster was that there was complacency being built into people’s response — they weren’t taking cover when they were in a tornado warning,” said Dennis Cavanaugh, with the National Weather Service. “So, we’re trying to find new ways to communicate risk.”
More than 150 people were killed when an EF-5 tornado slammed into Joplin last May.
The new warnings will be tested in the two states through November 30, and then researchers will determine their effectiveness.
“The test may be expanded to cover all of ‘tornado alley’ of which North Texas here is on the southern fringe of. In 2013 we may be included in a test,” Cavanaugh said.
The new system has two tiers of warnings for thunderstorms and three tiers for tornadoes.
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