Thanks to Nate Silver’s The Signal and the Noise, I’ve switched from checking the weather incessantly (are you a weather junkie too?) on to weather. gov which is run by the National Oceanic  and Atmospheric Administration.  The commercial sites get much of their data from the government site anyhow, and NOAA has no incentive to spin the weather.

NOAA is doing something very smart, which is also good government [because government is supposed to solicit and listen to public feedback. ] I don’t know the difference in severity between a “winter watch,” a “winter warning” and a “winter advisory.”  Others share my ignorance, so this is what NOAA is doing:

NWS Wants Your Comments on a Proposed Alternative to Simplify Winter Hazard Headlines

Are you confused about our terms “Watch,” “Warning” and “Advisory”? NWS wants your feedback this winter season on a proposed alternative to communicating winter hazard messages. The goal of this demonstration is to explore how we can simplify and clarify our messages to improve public understanding. We will create live examples of alternative messages throughout the winter for your comment.
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This post will not reveal their proposals to keep up the suspense. If you have a chance on a snowy day, click on read more and help them out.