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Persistent Rainy and Windy Conditions in the Northwest; Fire Weather Threats in Southern California

Soggy conditions with potential for minor river flooding and isolated landslides in western Washington, powerful winds as high as 100 mph across for parts of Montana will continue. Santa Ana winds will keep fire weather threats elevated. Breezy and cold conditions in northeastern Alaska may produce wind chills as low as minus 70 degrees F. Read More >

 

Project Overview

Welcome to the National Weather Service’s (NWS) Hazards Simplification ("Haz Simp") Project! We are glad you are interested and hope you will take the opportunity to learn more about us. The NWS is striving to support a “Weather-Ready Nation” by ensuring you are aware of and prepared for the variety of weather- and water-based hazards we experience across the country every day.  

For decades, the NWS has used the Watch, Warning, and Advisory (WWA) system to alert users of forecasted hazards.  In many ways, the WWA system has been highly effective in protecting life and property. With that said, as we have collected feedback during the course of this project, we have learned that some users find the WWA terms confusing.  Also, users are sometimes confused about how to interpret and distinguish among the large number of individual WWA “products” (e.g., Wind Advisory, Flood Watch, Winter Storm Warning). To address these issues, Haz Simp has embarked on two main paths:

Repair - Adjustments to the Current System

We’ve defined “Repair” as relatively minor changes within the confines of our current system. This is basically the low hanging fruit and answers a continued call by our public, partners, and forecasters to:

  1. Consolidate: Reduce the number of WWA products

  2. Reformat: Simplify the WWA product text

For more information on Haz Simp “Repair” efforts and current progress, please visit the “Repair Progress” section.

Revamp - Exploring an Entirely New System

We’ve defined “Revamp” as the exploration of a significant change to the current system - it would likely require major adjustments to NWS policy, messaging paradigm, and/or software.  As part of this, the Haz Simp team has conducted a variety of social science studies to investigate the understanding of current WWA terms, the performance of entirely new terms, and impacts of a major change to our system. In March 2021, NWS announced that it will remove the “Advisory” headline from its “Watch, Warning, and Advisory” (WWA) system in favor of plain language headlines. We are currently in the process of analyzing public and partner to refine the plain language headline wording.


For more information on Haz Simp “Revamp” efforts and current progress, please visit the “Revamp Progress” section.