National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

The NWS is currently working with social scientists to design what is being called a "WWA Generalizable Survey". In this context, the word "Generalizable" is intended to convey that the results will apply across all demographics and can be interpreted as "generally" applicable for purposes of decision making.

Goals of the survey will include (1) to determine in a generalizable sense just how pervasive confusion and misunderstanding is with regard to the WWA terms, and (2) to test alternative language and phrases for the current "Watch" and "Advisory" language to assess whether they might be more readily understood.

The terms and phrases, which were carefully selected based on the results of previous social science research, will be tested in prototype products to assess user understanding and response. The results of this survey will be used to drive decision making as to whether further efforts should be planned to consider replacing these two terms. Results of the survey are expected to be available in early 2018.