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The National Weather Service is considering a proposal that could make a change in the way weather bulletins and forecasts are issued here in Minnesota.

Do you know the difference between a weather Watch and weather Warning? Both messages are issued by the National Weather Service (for us here southeast Minnesota, from their office in La Crosse) as are other messages like a weather Advisory. ("Watch" means a significant event is possible; "Warning" means a significant weather event is happening or about to happen; "Advisory" means a less significant event is happening or about to happen, by the way.)

But the NWS is asking for our opinions right now on whether they should eliminate the "Advisory" message, because they think too many of us confuse it with either a Watch or Warning. Which we probably are, is you ask me.

The NWS explains: The proposed, new system would have only two primary headline terms: "Watch" and "Warning." So, we would only 'raise the flag' for major events that require users to “Prepare” (Watch) or “Act” (Warning) for significant hazards that threaten life and/or property. The current “Advisory” would be discontinued. In its place, we would use plain language statements to convey official information for less significant events.

You can see how these changes would actually look in the example below. I'm all for the new, plain language version. Heck, I'm a weather geek and even I sometimes can't remember if we're under a winter weather advisory, winter storm watch, winter storm or blizzard warning. While the NWS is taking public comments right now (you can take their survey HERE) it didn't say when any possible changes might be implemented.

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