Unusual severe storm warning issued for U.S.
April 14, 2012
MIDWEST – Forecasters are taking the unusual steps of warning Americans 24 hours in advance just how bad a ‚Äúlife-threatening‚ÄĚ system of storms could be that are expected to start tearing through the Midwest starting Saturday afternoon, in a path ranging from Minnesota to Texas to Oklahoma. Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, is projected to receive the brunt of the damage, which could include thunderstorms, tornadoes and base-ball size hail. Here are some details on why these early warnings ‚Äď which came on Friday ‚Äď are so unusual. What happened the last time: The first high-risk warning more than a day early came in April 2006, when nearly 100 tornadoes tore across the southeastern U.S. In all, a dozen people died and more than 1,000 homes were damaged in Tennessee. The weather service is now testing words such as ‚Äúmass devastation,‚ÄĚ ‚Äúunsurvivable‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúcatastrophic‚ÄĚ aimed at getting more people to take heed. The warnings are being experimented with in Kansas and Missouri. The ‚Äúlife-threatening‚ÄĚ warning for this round of storms, despite the dire language, was not part of that effort but just the most accurate way to describe what was expected, a weather service spokeswoman said. This is only the second time in U.S. history that the National Weather Service has issued a severe storm warning 24 hours in advance- a clear indication of the seriousness of the threat. People in affected areas should seek shelter immediately if life-threatening storms or severe weather approaches. ‚ÄďThe Extinction Protocol