Video: Taking the riddle out of weather forecasts

Winter weather can be complicated. Our hazard communications just got simpler.

Quiz: What’s the difference between a Winter Weather Advisory, Blizzard Watch and Ice Storm Warning? If this question stumps you, you aren’t alone. The dizzying array of weather forecasts can be difficult to decipher, even though impacts of these weather events are, in fact, similar.  

The public and our partners asked for simpler weather forecasts, and NOAA’s National Weather Service is answering the challenge to improve the way we communicate. By combining similar kinds of weather based on common impacts, we streamlined winter weather forecast types across the country. And this is just the beginning: We’ll simplify forecasts for other weather phenomena over the coming year through our Hazards Simplification Project.

The National Weather Service is making forecasts simpler and easier to understand, with a laser focus on impacts to help people understand the threats they face and action they can take to protect life and property when extreme weather strikes.