National Weather Service to eliminate ‘Advisories’ in its hazard messaging by 2024
SILVER SPRINGS, Md. (WIFR) - Over the years, there continues to be confusion all around the different types of watches, warnings and advisories that are issued from the National Weather Service. The governmental organization is looking to lessen that confusion by making advisories soon a thing of the past.
Back in July 2020, we brought you the story of the National Weather Service ‘Hazard Simplification Project.’ The project, known as ‘Haz Simp’ for short is part of the ongoing research where the NWS believes that the 122 different watches, warnings and advisories currently in their system is too much and creates confusion. Over the last several months, the organization finished the survey and says all weather ‘Advisories’ will be removed from its messages by 2024.
In a statement, officials with the NWS say, “This research indicated that NWS “Advisory” headlines are responsible for a major portion of the confusion. This is because the Advisory term itself is misunderstood and its meaning is often conflated with that of “Watch.”
Much like the survey said, advisories will be replaces with plain language headlines that will clearly state what is going on and what to expect. These changes will go into effect by 2024.
The major changes are as follows:
- All “Advisory” headlines within what is currently the NWS Watch, Warning and Advisory system will be discontinued. 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.
- Exceptions to the transition to plain language will apply to Tsunami and Small Craft Advisories. These Advisories will be elevated to the Warning level due to the life-threatening conditions associated with these hazards. The exact title of the Warning for what is now a Tsunami Advisory is to be determined.
- All “Special Weather Statements” (SPS’) will be discontinued, also in favor of plain language headlines. In addition, these converted messages will, for the first time, be equipped with computer-readable VTEC and placed in a bulleted “What, Where, When, Impacts” format.
The exact language to be used in the plain language headlines for each affected hazard is still being worked out. Until 2024, you can still expect Advisories to be issued when the weather conditions are necessary for such issuance.
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