Forecasters say the more descriptive information is aimed at getting people to safety sooner when severe weather approaches. The expanded warnings have been tested in Kansas and Missouri and will be expanded to a dozen other states.
Tornado warnings will be issued based on three tiers of information. A published report says when a tornado is possible based on radar data, the warning will clearly communicate hazards and possible impact.
When there's substantial evidence of a large and dangerous tornado, the warning will include the potential for considerable damage and direct listeners to take shelter immediately. When a tornado carries the potential for devastating damage, the warning will include the word "catastrophic."