National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

NWS Proposes Major Changes to Watch, Warning and Advisory System Provide your feedback today

Provide your feedback today

There may have been a time that you realized a Watch, Warning, or Advisory was issued for your area -- informing you of expected weather and/or water hazards. If you were unsure how to respond when this happened, then you are not alone.

Over the past 6 years, the National Weather Service (NWS) has utilized a series of social science engagements to explore possible improvements to the NWS Watch, Warning, and Advisory (WWA) system. This research has found that users believe there are too many WWA products, message formats are inconsistent, and WWA headlines can be confusing.  Based on these results, the Hazard Simplification Team is excited to share a proposal to streamline and simplify the WWA system.

What are the proposed changes?

We are proposing only using two primary headline terms: “Watch” and “Warning” -- discontinuing the use of all “Advisory”, “Special Weather Statements” and “Short Term Forecast” headlines. The “Watch” and “Warning” terms would only be used for major weather hazards that threaten life or property. If Watch is used then you should prepare for a potential significant weather event, but if Warning is used then you should take immediate action as there is an imminent weather hazard in your area.

For more information about the proposal to streamline and simplify the WWA system, view this downloadable handout.

Let us hear your opinion!

To choose the best path forward on this proposal, we need your feedback. Please take this survey to voice your opinion -- we are eager to hear from you!