Survey: National Weather Service simplifying watches, warnings, and advisories

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Major changes may come to Watch, Warning, and Advisory System.

The National Weather Service is encouraging everyone to comment on the proposed changes by taking this survey.

In the future, advisories may not be a headline issued by the National Weather Service.

Research from the Hazards Simplification Project concludes advisory is one of the most misunderstood headlines. Danielle Nagele is the senior advisor on the project.

“One of the things we are striving to fix about the system is to make it a little bit more simple, Nagele said, “and to bring it down to just a two-term system of watch and warning.”

Nagele said an advisory is slightly less significant than the criteria required for a warning.

A Winter Weather Advisory is used the most. In the Miami Valley it is issued for 2-4 inches of snow.

“This proposal would be just telling folks it’s not rising to the level of watch or warning, but hey there’s going to be 2-4 inches of snow this evening you might want to keep an eye on.”

Other product headlines that may go away include the Special Weather Statements, and Short Term Forecasts.

Brandon Peloquin, a warning coordination meteorologist at the forecast office in Wilmington, Ohio suggests everyone take the survey.

“This is just a proposal and the National Weather Service needs your help. No matter what the National Weather Service will continue to provide the advisory level information.”

Nagele said the difference will be the main impact will be in the headline, making it easier and quicker to understand.

Changes to the system are still a few years away as meteorologists work on the best way for the local forecast office to communicate the information. The public survey is the beginning of the final step.

Read more about the proposed changes here.

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