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Should weather advisories go away? Give your input!

Posted at 10:10 AM, Jul 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-12 11:10:59-04

WISCONSIN — The National Weather Service (NWS) wants your input!

The National Weather Service Hazard Simplification Project is a proposal to revamp the current Watch, Warning, and Advisory system.

The proposal is for the term 'Advisory' to be eliminated from the products issued by the NWS. Instead of issuing a specific advisory, plain text would be used to describe the hazard. The information that would have been packaged in an advisory is still valid, and would still be distributed, just not under the term advisory.

Advisory Change Sample

Here is a breakdown of the current Watch, Warning, Advisory terms:
Watch - Potential for life threatening hazard
Warning - Imminent/occurring life threatening hazard
Advisory - Imminent/occurring less serious hazard

Examples of events that would trigger an advisory in SE Wisconsin include minor flooding or a few inches of snow. In total, there are currently 24 different advisories that are issued by NWS offices.

Research has found the term 'advisory' can be confusing and is often misunderstood. The word itself has many definitions, and in relation to weather advisories, it has been determined that users don't necessarily understand what they mean.

The proposed new system would only 'raise the flag' for big events that meet the criteria for a watch or warning. All other hazards would be handled with the plain language statement.

No final decisions have been made to the current system, and user feedback is key to making any potential changes. To give your input, click here. The public survey is open through August 21st, 2020.

Questions and comments can be sent to

More information is available here.

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