National Weather Service Plans Change to Emergency Alert Wording

Feb 27, 2013

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The National Weather Service plans to tweak its wording in weather warnings in April.

Pat Spoden is the science and operating officer for the National Weather Service in Paducah. He says as scientists, sometimes they think everyone is a scientist. So meteorologists are working with social scientists to better tune warnings and other statements to resonate with people. Spoden says,

“If we’re expecting 70 mile per hour winds, we might try to say, well here’s what this normally will do. It could knock down trees, maybe some power lines. If we have a report of a large tornado on the ground we might say that it could cause considerable damage to kind of people an idea of, hey, this is what could happen.”

Spoden was in Cape Girardeau on Wednesday to meet with media and southeast Missouri emergency manages to discuss ways to improve communication.