8.1 NWS Hazard Simplification Project: A Roadmap for Change

Wednesday, 10 January 2018: 1:30 PM
Ballroom E (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Eli Jacks, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD

NWS Hazard Simplification Project: A Roadmap for Change

Eli Jacks, Andrew Pirring, David Soroka,Michelle Hawkins, Allison Allen, Mary Mullusky, NWS Analyze Forecast and Support Office

Dr. Kim Klockow, CIMMS/NSSL

Dr. Gina Eosco, NOAA’s Office of Weather and Air Quality

Linda Girardi, Eastern Research Group

The National Weather Service (NWS) is continuing its work on the national “Hazards Simplification” (Haz Simp) project, the goal of which is to examine possible alternatives to the current Watch, Warning, and Advisory (WWA) system. The motivation for this project rests on the premise that the WWA terms and the individual hazard messages that comprise it can be confusing to some users. In addition, the project’s goals have been codified into law via P.L. 115-25 - Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017. Specifically, the law directs NOAA to “assess its system “...for issuing watches and warnings regarding hazardous weather and water events; and...submit to Congress a report on the findings…”

In this session, we will first review the reduction in the number of our winter weather WWA products. along with an associated shortening and reformatting of the text within the WWA messages for clarity. We will then review planned changes to our Flood product suite to be implemented starting late winter into early spring 2018.

Finally, we will describe an ongoing survey designed to gather important data about the WWA system. This, survey will assess the level of understanding of the current WWA terms across a generalizable sample of the population. It will also provide feedback on possible replacement terms or phrases for “Watch” and “Advisory”.

All of the feedback collected from these efforts will be compiled to offer potential modifications to the WWA system. If the generalizable survey results indicate further change may be warranted to the WWA system beyond product consolidation and reformatting, a single prototype can be tested against the current WWA system, again, via a generalizable sample. At that point the NWS will decide what, if any, major structural changes should be made to the WWA system.

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