Oskaloosa.com

Local News

April 10, 2013

Providing residents with weather alerts

OSKALOOSA — It’s that time of year again.

On Tuesday, forecasters predicted strong to severe storms for southern Iowa. According to the National Weather Service office in Des Moines, these storms were expected to impact the southern portion of Iowa Tuesday night.

In an e-mail to the Herald Tuesday, Jamey Robinson, Mahaska County Emergency Management coordinator, provided a reminder about the Nixle Emergency Alerts system. This system can alert people of weather and other dangers by sending a text message to their phone or e-mail. To sign up for Nixle, text mcema to 888777. People may also sign up at http://www.mahaskaready.com/Nixle.html.

The National Weather Service has also started something new this severe weather season to help warn people.

According to the NWS Web site, an “experimental National Weather Service warning enhancement will be used across much of the central U.S. this thunderstorm season (beginning April 1). This is an expansion of a smaller NWS experiment that began in Kansas and Missouri in 2012.”

The Web site goes on to explain that the Impact Based Warning or IBW is being done to communicate severe weather threats better within the NWS warnings.

“While the basic function of Severe Thunderstorm and Tornado warnings will remain the same, additional enhanced information will be provided within the warning to provide additional expected ‘impact’ information,” according to the NWS Web site.

The NWS Web site cites recent weather disasters in its explanation of IBW.

“The goals are to provide more information through the warnings in order to facilitate improved public response and decision making, and to better meet societal needs in the most life-threatening weather events. This effort is in response to key findings from recent service assessments of devastating tornadoes in 2011, particularly the EF-5 tornado in Joplin, MO.,” according to the Web site.

For more information, visit http://www.crh.noaa.gov/crh/?n=2013_ibw_info.

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Herald City Editor Andy Goodell can be reached at news2@oskyherald.com.

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