National Weather Service Seeks Feedback on Terminology Change to Help Warn Boaters

Small Craft Advisory to Change to Small Craft Warning

From the National Weather Service website:

For decades, the National Weather Service (NWS) has used the Watch, Warning, and Advisory (WWA) system to alert users to expected weather and water hazards. Over the years, social science research has found that the headline terms can introduce confusion. Specifically, we have found that the “Advisory” headline is widely misunderstood and is often confused with “Watch”. We have also found that “Watch” and “Warning” are also sometimes confused.

Based on the totality of the feedback, NWS is considering a major change to the Watch, Warning, and Advisory (WWA) system. The proposed new system would remove the term “Advisory,” “Special Weather Statement,” and “NOWcast” headline terms, and streamline all sub-Watch and sub-Warning information into a single plain-language headline “Statement”, with a few exceptions, one being Small Craft Advisory (SCA).

The proposed new system would have only two flagship headline terms (Watch and Warning). The NWS would only “raise the flag” for events that require users to “Prepare” (Watch) or “Act” (Warning) for significant events that threaten life and/or property. Since a “Small Craft
Advisory” requires vessels of a certain size to “Act”, it would be upgraded to a “Small Craft Warning” under this new paradigm. The NWS uses regional criteria for issuing Small Craft Advisories, so the new Small Craft Warning product would use these same criteria.

Currently, Small Craft Advisories are issued when sustained wind speeds or frequent gusts of 20 to 33 knots (regionally defined) and/or seas or waves 4 feet and greater and/or waves or seas are potentially hazardous.

Boaters are encouraged to give their feedback using this survey link:

Previous ArticleNext Article
Don McDowell, Arizona native, is an avid outdoorsman and has been an active bass pro fisherman for over 16 years and in the past 15 years has developed his own radio show promoting bass fishing and conservation efforts for bass fishing that escalated to nominations with several bass groups and organizations. In the past 12 years, Don has pursued his conservation agenda through AZBFN-TBF as Conservation Director and with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, in the spring of 2014 redesigned his website to include those efforts highlighted below and has increased the AZGFD exposure, public education of the AZGFD and Commission issues on his radio show and website soliciting local and national support for Arizona. 2014 has seen the founding of SRT Outdoors, Inc., 501 C3 organization, “Not for Profit, for Conservation” which is concentrating on grants for mitigating the effects of Gizzard Shad on Roosevelt lake thorough habitat enhancement, Florida Strain Bass stocking, lakes bottom mapping, etc. and feral hog research.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *