National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

The Haz Simp team is excited to share an important Revamp update!  

NWS will be examining the technical and policy requirements to confirm feasibility of removing the term “Advisory”, from the NWS Watch, Warning and Advisory System. This decision comes after years of social science research with our forecasters, public, and partners. One of the most important findings during this process has been the high level of misunderstanding around “Advisory.” In fact, our public and even some partners frequently confuse “Watch” and “Advisory”, considering them almost as synonyms.  

The end goal would be a simpler, two-term headline system in which you either Prepare (Watch) or Act (Warning) in response to a significant weather, water, or climate event. To clarify, this would not result in elimination of Advisory-level information; rather, it’s an opportunity to explore how we could communicate this information in a different, more intuitive way.  One potential solution is provided in the example below. As a part of this change, we will expand the use of the headline “Emergency” beyond Tornado and Flash Flood for selected hazards.  



We understand this would be a major change and, as we all know, the devil is in the details! Because of this, a formal implementation decision has not yet been made. Over the next year NWS will be closely examining the technical and policy considerations of this change. This proposal is a major project milestone, but it would be several years before NWS official products are changed permanently.