¿What we're basically doing is highlighting or enhancing the wording of our warnings based on the severity of the situation people are facing,¿ said warning coordination meteorologist Chance Hayes.
Hayes says before Joplin’s big tornado, the warning for a minor twister in the middle of a wheat field was the same for a twister heading towards a populated community. Now they won¿t hold back.
¿We used the catastrophic wording to let people know this tornado basically means this tornado meant business. It was about a mile wide, and it's going to cause catastrophic type damage completely wiping out neighborhoods, buildings and there could be significant injuries or loss of life,¿ said Hayes.
In hindsight, Hayes wishes he could have used the charged descriptions sooner. He thinks of himself now as a social scientist, and he says the fact that no lives were lost in the recent April 14th tornado outbreak is proof people react more to their detailed descriptions.
¿People have these myths or these beliefs that their community is safe and I think they're starting to realize they're just myths, and a tornado is going to go wherever it wants to travel,¿ said Hayes.
Hayes says videos and photos from people out in the field have helped the National Weather Service to react quicker.
¿We were getting several reports from Kingman County when we were not seeing rotation on radar, but based on the environment and reports coming in from the field, we were able to hoist the tornado warnings,¿ said Hayes.
Back in Joplin, residents break ground on a new elementary school. 130,000 volunteers have helped Joplin spring up again, but city leaders say the community still has a long way to go. <
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>Wording changes to describe tornado's.