National Weather Service offices in more than a dozen states are surveying the public online about possible changes to how the agency delivers winter weather hazard messages.
Warning coordinator John Paul Martin in North Dakota tells The Bismarck Tribune that people might not understand the distinction between terms such as "watch," "warning," and "advisory." The weather service wants to know whether its headline messages could be simplified.
The online survey provides side-by-side comparisons of actual weather headlines. During heavy snowfall in western South Dakota on Wednesday, the official headline on the Rapid City weather service website notified the public of a winter weather advisory while an alternative advised caution for snow and blowing snow.
Twenty-six weather service offices in 15 states are taking part in the project through March.