National Weather Service Considers Dropping Advisories To Lessen Confusion

28 Jun

Over the last few years, the National Weather Service has been making it simpler to understand watches, warnings, and advisories. 

Now, it's considering dropping advisories all together and moving to only watches and warnings.

When the weather turns, you likely check your favorite source for weather information. One of those sources, we all rely on is the National Weather Service.

If you look at their national hazards map, you may see a range of watches, warnings, and advisories. Sometimes it can even be confusing.

“We have a myriad of advisories and choices to choose from,” said Brian Smith, Warning Coordination Meteorologist.

Brian Smith is with the NWS office in Valley. He says the NWS has been asking the public and emergency management agencies about the way they warn people about the weather.

"They understood the watch and warning process pretty well, but the advisories were another story altogether,” said Smith.

Most of the time, advisories are used for letting people know about inconvenient weather rather than life-threatening weather. So, the NWS is considering dropping all advisories from their suite.

“The feeling is that we can include that information in the forecast that we issue now,” said Smith.

He says the NWS is issuing more enhanced forecasts more frequently. So, the need for an advisory is less than it used to be. The goal is to focus more on weather events that could cause harm like blizzards, winter storms, and tornadoes.

“So we want to simplify it to alert people to only those types of events,” said Smith.

He hopes it will help the public understand what types of threats the weather can bring on any given day.

Right now, no final decisions have been made about dropping advisories, but the NWS is actively surveying to see what the best options will be.

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