TULSA - The Storm Prediction Center, a branch of the National Weather Service, has announced it plans to modify its threat level warning system to add more nuanced information on the lower end of the scale.
Currently, the agency issues its predictions on a three-tiered system: Slight, moderate, and high risk.
The SPC believes people often disregard the threat when they hear there is a "slight" risk of severe weather.
So they will now offer a warning system with five tiers:
Steve Piltz, with the National Weather Service office in Tulsa, says the predictions from the SPC are primarily distributed to forecasters, emergency operations centers, and other "decision makers."
But the data is readily available to the public, and he says the "beauty" of the new system "is in the eye of the beholder."
"Some folks will like the extra detail," he told KRMG. "Others will argue that the public is pretty happy with the 1-2-3 kind of approach, and don't make it overly complicated because you want a straight-forward message when the weather gets bad, and so I'm sure there will be folks on both sides of the fence."
He said they initially discussed putting the new system into place last Spring, but it was decided they couldn't get word out to the public in time to educate everyone about the change.
The new system will now begin October 22nd of this year.