Pictures: Tornado on the Ground

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SALINA, Kan. — Tornadoes and thunderstorms swept through the southern and central Plains Saturday, with dozens of reports of tornadoes in the region.

FOX 4 Photojournalist Jerry Paauwe captured video of the huge tornado that touched down in an area southwest of Salina, Kan., a town about 175 miles west of Kansas City. Damage was confined to rural areas and there were no immediate reports of injuries.

Data pix.

A viewer and storm chaser, Chris Bain provided this video of a tornado near Hesston, Kansas, which is about 40 miles north of Wichita.

Data pix.

The predicted severe storms come as five National Weather Service offices in Missouri and Kansas are conducting an experiment on how to better convey risks from tornadoes and severe storms.

The new warning system comes after last year's tornado on May 22 that killed 158 people in Joplin, Mo.

The National Weather Service will use more graphic terms to push people to find safe shelter. Forecasters in the test area will continue issuing traditional tornado warnings, but for "significant" and "catastrophic" scenarios, they can add information at the bottom of the warnings issued to media outlets.

When a storm has the potential to cause "significant" damage, meteorologists may include terms such as "complete destruction possible" or "major power outages in path of tornado highly likely."

In a "catastrophic" outlook, descriptions may include "This is a life-threatening situation," and "You could be killed if not underground or in a tornado shelter."

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