The National Weather Service is changing the way it issues severe weather warnings, switching from alerts based on county lines to notices aimed at specific communities.
The new system, called storm-based warnings, is designed to predict the moment a storm will hit a community or even a certain crossroads based on radar and computer modeling programs.
Officials say the system also will make it easier to send weather warnings through cell phones, pagers or Internet-enabled handheld devices.
Some weather experts are concerned that radar has its limits and a fast-moving storm can change direction, suddenly taking aim at an area not mentioned in the storm warning. But meteorologists said the system will be able to keep up with abrupt changes.
The system, which will resemble the warnings already used by some weather service offices and many TV meteorologists, takes effect nationally on Oct. 1.