J4.4 Watches, Warnings, and Advisories, Oh My! Results from a Survey on Hazard Simplification

Thursday, 11 June 2015: 4:15 PM
304 (Raleigh Convention Center)
Gina M. Eosco, Eastern Reseach Group, Arlington, VA; and L. Girardi, E. Jacks, A. Horvitz, and M. Bilder

The National Weather Service (NWS) is leading the Hazard Simplification Project to evaluate its watch, warning, advisory program. As an early step in this process, the NWS created three new prototypes for communicating hazardous weather. The first was based on the current system with the addition of a color system. The second was also based on the current system, but used dark colors to identify warnings and light colors to denote the respective watches. The last prototype was based on the UK's MeteoAlarm, which uses a color-coded matrix system to denote levels of action: stay aware, be prepared and take action.

Working with the NWS, Eastern Research Group (ERG) developed a survey to evaluate these three prototypes, as well as the current version. The survey provided a national map, a local weather page, and a warning page for each version. Survey responders were asked to assess the following criteria: conveying hazard type, showing timing, providing confidence, communicating impacts, and conveying actions.

The NWS and ERG conducted the survey at the American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting in Phoenix in January 2015. Data were collected at both the AMS public event, called Weather Fest, as well as the main exhibit hall. Surveys were collected using online software compatible with iPads. Multiple iPads were available at both events, allowing many participants to take the survey at one time. A total of 380 attendees participated in the survey. Results and data analysis will be provided, as well as discussion points around the complexity of potentially enhancing or redesigning the NWS warning system.

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