RICHMOND, Va (WRIC-TV) – In a few months alerts issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) will be a little different. In an effort to make things easier to understand, the NWS has pushed to consolidate and reformat some alerts. 

In the coming months there will be the following consolidations with Small Craft Advisories:

At the same time those changes go into effect, so do these consolidations for Flood Advisories:

The consolidation/renaming effort will also see changes to these alerts:

Future Changes:

This effort to make alert from the NWS easier to understand for the public continues with the possibility of getting rid of the “Advisory” category. The thought behind this is to simplify the current system and create less confusion about NWS alerts. 

At the moment the NWS uses the Watch, Warning, Advisory system. Where a Watch means that significant weather event is possible. A Warning means that a significant weather event is imminent or occurring. An Advisory means that a less serious weather event is imminent or occurring.

The NWS is currently polling Meteorologists, Emergency Managers, and other core NWS partners to see if this change would be beneficial. If this change were to go into effect, Advisories would not be issued anymore, but the NWS would still issue a statement on that weather event.

If agreed upon, the changes would take a few years to implement with re-training and other software adjustments needed.