The NYTimes reports a new type of radar system that could potentially increase the warning time for tornados and other severe weather will begin testing in August. While the familiar doppler radar, which local news stations love to pimp, has the ability to look inside developing storms, it can only update every six minutes. First developed for the Navy, the new system, called Phased Array Radar, can update information every minute and can look at storms much closer to the ground. This could increase tornado warning times from the current average of 11 minutes to 22 minutes. Unfortunately, even if the tests are successful, deployment is described as still being a decade away.

While we may not need to worry too much about tornadoes, for other severe weather warnings, we rely on EAS, television and radio forecasting, or for the truly prepared, a special frequency weather radio. The national weather service broadcasts its own stations all over the country. Here at home, Gothamist can listen to NWO-35 162.550, all weather all the time--for forecasts, observations, and special weather statements like, "stay away from Columbus Circle, it's raining metal."