The National Weather Service announced that they are making adjustments to their hazard messaging. The changes to the headlines will take place by 2024. A press release issued by the Chief of the National Weather Service Forecast Services Division, Eli Jacks, notes that the decision was “based on results of extensive social science research with partners and the public, which documented significant confusion with current NWS headline terms.”

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The research showed that the advisory-type headlines were confusing. Also, that the advisory term still conflicted with the term watch. The National Weather Service felt that “such confusion can lead to a misunderstanding of forecast severity and certainty with respect to significant weather and water hazards. This, in turn, can adversely impact user preparation for (and response to) these hazards.”

No changes will be made to the terms “watch” and “warning.” As always, these are important terms to understand. A “watch” is when you should prepare, while “warning” is when you should take action.

Weather information is very important to our area. The changes in messaging will affect “advisories” and “special weather statements” by 2024. We will absolutely keep you notified of these changes.

The National Weather Service mentioned that  “most of the current Advisory headlines will be replaced with plain language headlines that clearly articulate the nature of the hazard. However, these messages will still be equipped with computer-readable Valid Time Event Code (VTEC) as they are today.”

There are exceptions for Tsunami and Small Craft Advisories. “These Advisories will be elevated to the Warning level due to the life-threatening conditions associated with these hazards.”

To promote plain language headline terms. The special weather statement messages will be discontinued. It will be replaced with the “What, Where, When, Impacts” format.”

(Source) Click here for more details from the National Weather Service.

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