National Weather Service to use plain language in future alerts


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — There’s a change coming to the way the National Weather Service warns the public about possible weather threats.

The National Weather Service created the Hazards Simplification (Haz Simp) Project in order to repair and revamp the current watch, warning and advisory system. The agency decided to remove all advisory headlines and special weather statements in favor of plain language headlines.

For example, a wind advisory could become something like “westerly winds today gusting to 40 mph,” and a coastal flood advisory could switch to “caution: coastal flooding expected today.” The use of plain language is supposed to allow more people to understand what’s happening.

The goal is to allow more people to understand what’s happening.

“OK, this advisory term is fairly confusing, not many people are getting it, its not intuitive, but we do want the information given that people had either not heard of it, or were misusing or misunderstanding it, that’s what really led us down to exploring just getting rid of it and just sharing the information in plain language,” said Danielle Nagele, Haz Simp project manager.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Hazard Simplification (Haz Simp)

To provide time for public outreach, partner adjustments and NWS policy and software development, the change won’t happen before 2024.

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