Experts hope new weather warnings will save lives

High winds, heavy rain and even tornadoes have been a part of North Carolina’s weather recently. The bad weather here and in other states have prompted meteorologists to test another way to get your attention.

Five National Weather Service offices in Kansas and Missouri are using words like “mass devastation” and “catastrophic”  in weather warnings that will be based on the storm’s expected impact. This idea is aimed to get people to see the dangers and risks they’re about to face.

“What they’re trying to do, especially in the aftermath of the events of last year here in the Carolinas and in the southeast–particularly in Joplin–is they’re trying to highlight some of the impact from those large, destructive tornadoes that might be on the ground for a long time,” said National Weather Service Meteorologist Darin Figursky.

Several homeowners in North Carolina are on board with this idea. John Blair lost his home during a tornado two years ago. Blair said its all about saving lives.

“When it breaks in on the TV, you think, ‘Oh, well stop! I just want to watch my game!’ If it’s going to say, ‘This is a life threatening, you will die,’ I think it will get more people’s attention,” Blair said.

A team of social scientists from UNC-Chapel Hill will analyze the results from the test. The study is expected to continue throughout the year.

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