Forecasters will send storm warnings earlier

MIAMI (AP) - Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center say they will issue storm warnings and watches about half a day sooner than before.

They hope warnings about 36 to 48 hours ahead of the storms will give coastal residents more advance notice. They said Tuesday that improved storm tracking allows them to do it.

But both the center and some local emergency officials say the earlier warnings won't make much difference when it comes to ordering evacuations.

Local officials who order evacuations are already watching the storms closely. Sometimes they order evacuations before the official warning comes out. But having an official warning sooner could help bolster their decision.

The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1. The eastern Pacific season begins May 15.

National Hurricane Center:

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.