NWS is simplifying weather hazards and plans to drop the term advisory

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MIAMI VALLEY, Ohio (WDTN) – The National Weather Service announced the decision to discontinue the terms advisory and special weather statements possibly as soon as 2024.  

Danielle Nagele is the Hazard Simplification Project Advisor. She said their social science research indicates the term advisory is confusing.  

“We were extremely overwhelmed and excited to see that level of involvement and see that the public is interested and excited for change,” Nagele said.  

She said more than 80,000 people participated in a public survey last summer. Storm Team 2 encouraged people from the Miami Valley to participate.  

“It really is our connection to the public and for that reason, it’s really important that we get it right,” Nagele said.  

The National Weather Service released the results of the survey. 55% were in favor of plain weather headlines instead of advisories and special weather statements. 31% disagreed with the change. 13% did not agree or disagree.  

“What we learned from the public over time through our engagements was that the term advisory is confusing,” Nagele said. “It’s most confusing of all the terms that we use.” 

Julie Dian-Reed is a meteorologist who issues advisories, watches, warnings and special weather statements.

“In the Miami Valley the most common advisories people would be used to seeing would be the winter weather advisories for fairly small amounts of snow also, flood advisories which are for minor flooding. Those are probably the two most common ones, but occasionally there will be a wind advisory as well,” Dian-Reed said.  

These are just a few of the 24 advisories set to be discontinued by the National Weather Service.  

Dian-Reed said they will continue to issue alerts, it will just look a little different.  

“The transition would be instead of saying flood advisory, we would say something like street flooding is possible,” Dian-Reed said.  

That information would be the headline on the Storm Team 2 Weather App. The important information is the headline and it’s not buried in the text of the alert. Nagele said making these changes will take some time.  

“We have a few reasons for holding off until at least 2024,” Nagele said. “There’s a lot of things that need to happen internally with our systems and preparing for that change. We also want to give our partners a chance to change their systems.” 

Nagele said watches and warnings will remain the same.  

“Going forward, once this change occurs, they’re our flagship terms. Watch and warning are it,” Nagele said. “Watch you are preparing for something big. Warning you’re acting to help you protect your life and property from something big.” 

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