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WEATHER: Warning! The warnings are changing

The National Weather Service is changing the way it warns you about potential storms. The deadline is set for Oct. 1 for all areas in the U.S. to comply with the changes to the storm warning system. Traditionally, the weather service would provid...

The National Weather Service is changing the way it warns you about potential storms.

The deadline is set for Oct. 1 for all areas in the U.S. to comply with the changes to the storm warning system.

Traditionally, the weather service would provide warnings by county to let citizens know about incoming rain, hail, thunder, lightning, snow and more. But, with some counties much larger than others, the weather service is looking for a more precise way of warning people.

Instead of just county lines, warnings will be indicated by landmarks, highways, rivers, mile markers and specific cities, according to Greg Gust, warning coordination meteorologist for the weather service in Grand Forks.

"The warnings will be more refined and will free up the area that isn't affected so people don't worry," Gust said.

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One interesting and technologically advanced feature that the warning system provides is up-to-the-minute warnings for people with handheld Internet connections.

So, how is this going to affect local television stations and the crawls they put on the bottom of screens? Will they spell out every detail?

"We haven't made a complete decision on the crawls yet," said local WDAY/WDAZ meteorologist Rob Kupec. "Right now, the crawls come across exactly as they are worded from the National Weather Service, but once we have them for a few minutes, we try to isolate the location of the storm and make sure we agree with where it is headed."

The WDAY/WDAZ meteorologists take the warnings from the weather service and try to give specific details about what is coming in the storm, Kupec said. So, if the new warnings are more detailed, he said it will save them time.

"In general, I would say this is a big upgrade, especially when you have counties the size of states out East," Kupec said. "Rhode Island is exactly the same size as Cass County."

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