New Severe Weather Alert System

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The National Weather Service is fine-tuning its warning system to be more specific with issuing severe weather alerts.

The system could also mean fewer false alarms for people who are near a storm, but not in its path.

EMA Officer Charles Finney says, "When you have a system moving through with severe weather in it, a lot of times it's a line of weather you've got to watch the entire county, which we always do. But certainly anything where they can give us a more specific idea of whether severe weather will occur is helpful to us."

Right now, our weather systems at News 4 use a V-Tech structure, and it earns its keep by keeping citizens who are in danger informed.

The system also decreases false alarms for people who may be near the severe weather, but will not be affected by it.

Chief Meteorologist Oscar Fann says, "With these warnings we're going one step further instead of saying maybe just the northwest part of Geneva County or the southeast part of Houston County, we can actually start to whittle that down even more of a narrower range. So if you're on the other side of the county by 20 or 30 miles, you can say 'well that's not affecting me this go-around,' and you can more or less be attentive to whatever else is going on in weather at the time."

For instance, with the current method, when a tornado warning is issued in a certain county, the entire county is notified with sirens and warnings on the television screens.

This can cause people to lose faith in the accuracy of the system or to downplay the seriousness of the warning when the storm itself doesn't hit their part of the county.

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