Tornado warnings to come directly to your smartphone

Tornado warnings to come directly to your smartphone

By Jon Byman. CREATED Apr 17, 2013

MILWAUKEE - As we get to summer severe weather season, the National Weather Service has a new tool to make sure you're aware of changing weather conditions.

Many smartphones will now automatically automatically get alerts like tornado warnings.

"It's exciting that we're going to be able to get the word out to even more people," said National Weather Service Meteorologist Paul Collar.

Your phone will only alert you if you are actually in the warned area.

While the new warnings are a great tool, it also creates a new challenge for the meteorologists.

"We have to try to really hone in on the areas that are going to be affected by the sereve weather," Collar said.

In the past, warnings were issued by county.  That meant someone under a warning might not be anywhere near actual severe weather.

Today, the National Weather Service issues very specific warnings.  Only people in that small geographic area will get the alert on their phone.