Forecasters still spooked by high death toll seek new ways to improve tornado warnings

Weather experts are hoping that their social media skills will one day match their forecasting skills.

The National Weather Center in Oklahoma is working on several projects to increase the amount of time people have to prepare for storms.

One project suggests creating threat assessments for each square-kilometer area, particularly those in Tornado Alley. Smartphone users could perhaps receive the assessments through an app.

Forecasters are still responding to an especially bad tornado year in 2011. While advances in science helped them predict the storms, the death toll was the second-highest on record, at 553. The National Weather Service says it wants people to react appropriately when bad weather approaches.

The highest death toll was 794 tornado fatalities in 1925, well before advanced technology helped forecasters.