The advantages to GIS users are greater than simply providing more detailed warning information. Such a step forward brings an added ability to query the types of structures and demographic information impacted by the warning. This enables emergency management and other disaster response agencies to use the current warning polygons with other GIS shapefiles to make rapid life and property decisions and improve vital recovery operations.
This step forward is, however, associated with a large number of issues which require a well-coordinated plan for proper resolution and timely implementation. These issues include rewriting performance standards, or verification, of warnings, and dissemination concerns --- how to get the polygon warnings out to the largest number of people in the most effective manner.
A diverse National Weather Service team was established to discuss these issues and recommend solutions as the Agency evaluates the feasibility of advancing to a polygon warning approach. The concept of polygon warnings, the advantages and issues associated with this approach, and the team's initial recommendations regarding a path to polygon warnings will be presented.