(06/29/20) The mission of the National Weather Service is to provide weather, water, and climate data, forecasts and warnings for the protection of life and property. Sometimes this life saving information can get lost in translation.
“Our watch means that a significant event is possible. Our advisory and warning means an event is immanent or happening but it’s different levels of severity, so advisory is less severe than a warning. This is kind of confusing it’s mixing certainty and severity” Dr. Danielle Nagele, Public Weather Program Coordinator for the National Weather Service.
The current system, which has been around for decades, could be changing soon through the Hazard Simplification Project, which is geared to bridge the confusion gap between the National Weather Service and the public.
This proposal has been in the works for about 6 years or so and now they need your help to gather the information needed to complete their proposal.
Their goal is simplify the current watch, warning and advisory system.
“What we’re proposing really, is a two term system so right now I keep saying ‘watch, warning, advisory’, it’s a three term system and one of the things that we found to be overly confusing about it was the fact that those three terms don’t really interact in an intuitive way” Nagele said.
“By eliminating the advisory and just saying ‘this is a Severe Thunderstorm Warning’, there should be little confusion as to what we mean by that” Felecia Bowser, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for National Weather Service in Jackson, MS.
This new system would cover all weather hazards, not just severe thunderstorms. In order to do this, they need to hear from the public. They have a survey available that anyone can take and your answers will help the National Weather Service know where to start making changes.
If you would like to take the survey or learn more about the Hazard Simplification Project, the link to their website is here: https://www.weather.gov/hazardsimplification/