When we're talking about bad weather, do you know what an Advisory means? Is it worse or better than a Warning or a Watch? It may not matter soon. The National Weather Service is proposing to get rid of Advisories. 

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Right now when bad weather is coming, the NWS has three options of how they can tell you. An Advisory means a "less serious hazard" is imminent or occurring. A Watch means there is a "potential for a life-threatening hazard," so this is dealing with a different level of confidence. In an Advisory, the weather is happening or about to happen. In a Watch it's just a potential; it's the potential for weather that is more dangerous, but the forecast isn't as sure. A Warning means a "life-threatening hazard" is imminent or occurring, so this is a step up in severity from the Advisory and is more immediate than the Watch. 

This is all the main part of the reason why NWS is proposing no more Advisories: it's confusing. The NWS already has too many products and too many colors, and the research shows these Advisories may not be helping at all. When the question is "do I need to take action because of bad weather?" an Advisory is basically a shoulder shrug. A Watch would answer, "not yet but you probably will later today so be ready" and a Warning would answer, "YES!" When a Watch is issued, it's time to prepare. When a Warning is issued, it's time to take action. But where does that leave the Advisory? Arguably nowhere which is why NWS is proposing they be eliminated. The list below shows all the Advisories currently in use that would go away. 


The NWS will still alert about all the same kinds of weather events, but they will do it differently. Anything that needs to be pointed out but doesn't meet the threshold of deserving a Watch or Warning will just get a statement. These will be written in plain text instead of the information buried under lines of formatting. The goal is for those statements to be easier to digest quickly.  The National Weather Service is taking input right now on this topic. If you want to participate in the survey, click here. If you want to watch a recorded webinar explaining the Hazard Simplification project, click here