Do you understand our current Watch, Warning, Advisory system?

Many say it's confusing and the NWS is looking into making changes


Published 02/10 2016 03:09PM

Updated 02/10 2016 04:18PM

Living in Siouxland means dealing with active weather. Blizzards, tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, and flash flooding are among the many threats we face as we move through the Midwest’s four seasons. And along with those hazards come Watches, Warnings, and Advisories—issued by the National Weather Service and communicated to you on-air and online by ABC9.
Watches, Warnings, and Advisories provide critical weather information that, if understood and acted upon, can help you stay safe in times of active weather. In some cases, this information can be life-saving. But how clear are these weather headlines?
For example, do you know the difference between a Watch and a Warning? Many people don’t. Which is more severe—a Warning or an Advisory? When a Watch is replaced with an Advisory, does that mean that storm just got stronger, just weakened, or is staying the same? Or, none of the above? And, how about colors? On a busy weather map, you may have heard an ABC9 Meteorologist refer to “the rainbow of fruit flavors”. Are there too many colors for too many headlines, resulting in confusion instead of the clarity that leads to taking action and staying safe?
Some have proposed that our current system of Watches, Warnings, and Advisories is simply too confusing, and that a simpler system of alerting the public of impending weather would do a better job. But what would such a system look like? And, are changes feasible?
ABC9 Meteorologist Elisa Raffa will take a look at what changes are currently being debated. Hear from a social scientist that has expertise in communicating scientific data and get reaction from a local National Weather Service employee in “Simplifying Weather Warnings”, a special report on ABC9 News, tomorrow at 10 PM. 
VIDEO: Dr. Gina Eosco, Senior Social Scientist at Eastern Research Group and Expert in Weather Risk Communication, is working closely with the NWS... researching which changes may work, if changes are made at all. She wants to hear from YOU, Siouxland! What do you want to see in your Watch, Warning, Advisory system? Let us know on social media: Facebook @Elisa Raffa - ABC9 Weather, or Twitter @Elisa_Raffa

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