ESRL Global Systems Division

GSD Warning Innovations Implemented October 1

The National Weather Service implemented storm-based warnings as part of their warning program on October 1, 2007. The technology driving the new system was developed by ESRL's Global Systems Division (GSD) and was extensively tested with success. GSD enhanced the previous system so NWS forecasters can warn for specific geographic areas where threats are greatest. With the improved technology, the warning message can be precisely recreated on TV, cell phone displays, etc. if equipped with the right software. The information transmitted includes exact time, location, and movement of the storms. This new approach is used for severe thunderstorm, tornado, flash flood, special marine, and areal flood warnings.

Before October 1, warning messages were unable to hone in on the localized warning area. That is, forecasters were required to warn entire counties for threats that actually affected only much smaller regions. These more precise warning areas provide benefits to the American public by greatly reducing the number of times they are unnecessarily warned. This development meets one of NOAA's main mission goals to "Serve Society's Needs for Weather and Water Information."

Contact information
Name: Carl S Bullock
Tel: 303-497-7247