What does this mean? On October 2, 2017, the National Weather Service will implement changes to our winter weather messaging. The primary goal of these changes is to better serve you, the customer. Please see the short video below for additional details.

Overview of Winter Changes 

The NWS is striving to support a “Weather-Ready Nation” by ensuring you are aware of and prepared for the variety of weather- and water-based hazards we experience across the country every day.  One factor in supporting this awareness and preparedness is to make sure our messaging is as clear and focused as possible.

Based on initial feedback from core partners and the public, and with support from social and behavioral scientists, the NWS is implementing changes to more effectively communicate our hazard messages. To begin this process, modifications will be made to winter weather products. Here are the winter adjustments taking place this Fall:

1. Product Consolidation

  • Consolidate Lake Effect Snow Advisory and Freezing Rain Advisory into Winter Weather Advisory
  • Consolidate Lake Effect Snow Watch and Blizzard Watch into Winter Storm Watch
  • Consolidate Lake Effect Snow Warning into Winter Storm Warning (selected sites only)

2. Product Reformatting

  • Reformat all winter products into a “What, Where, When, Additional Details, and Precautionary/Preparedness Actions” format.

While the five consolidated products noted above will no longer be issued, the service will still be provided. Instead of issuing products specifically catered to lake effect snow, freezing rain, and blizzards (only in the case of watches for blizzards), the information will be provided in the "what" section of existing products.

Reformatting will bring a more clear and organized look and feel to the products. Critical decision-making details will be more readily available and easier to find with the new format mentioned above.

Additional Upcoming Changes 

A second set of changes, applying to all flood products nationwide, will be implemented late winter/early spring 2018:

  • Consolidate Flash Flood Watch into Flood Watch
  • Reformat all Flood products (including River Point products) into a “What, Where, When, Additional Details, and Precautionary/Preparedness Actions” format

In addition to the winter weather and flood product consolidation and reformatting, we also plan to survey on similar changes to the product suite for other hazards, including for marine, wind and extreme temperature hazards.

See the Hazard Simplification page on the National Weather Service website for more information.

Michael Ehret
  DICKINSON COUNTY
  EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT COORDINATOR
Dickinson County Courthouse
1802 Hill Ave, Ste B103
  Spirit Lake, IA 51360
43.422°, -95.103°
712-336-3987
712-336-1850
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