Current proposal aims to change ‘small craft advisory’ to ‘small craft warning’

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WWTI) — The National Weather Service is looking for feedback for major changes in wording and terms used in the Watch, Warning and Advisory system.

NWS is looking to change the alert “small craft advisory” to “small craft warning,” to allow nearby residents to prepare and limit confusion. According to NWS, the terms “advisory,” “watch” and “warning” are often confused and misunderstood.

The NWS would only alert for events that require users to “Prepare” or “Act” for significant events that threaten life or property. 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.

Currently, Small Craft Advisories are issued when sustained wind speeds or frequent gusts of 20 to 33 knots and when waves or seas are potentially hazardous.

This is part of the NWS Hazards Simplification Project, aiming to prepare users across the country for weather and water based hazards. Two goals of the project include simplifying and reducing WWA alerts and “revamping” their current system.

Users are encouraged to share their feedback with NWS by August 31 2020.


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