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Changes to your warnings service

NSWWS 2010 icons
Icons will be use to represent different hazards

The Met Office is responsible for issuing severe weather warnings for the UK through the National Severe Weather Warning Service (NSWWS). Following a period of consultation we will be making a number of changes to improve the warnings service for users. Over the coming weeks we will be providing you with additional information and introducing users to the changes.

Reason for changes

Feedback from the public and responders highlighted ways to improve the warnings system and how it was displayed on the Met Office web site.
Consultation was carried out over the past 18 months with both the public and the Emergency Response community. This highlighted a number of changes that were requested to improve relevance and communication of warnings.

Key changes

Improved website display
The Met Office will be changing the way warnings are displayed on its website to make it easier to find the information that is relevant to users’ particular needs. Users will be able to see at a glance the basic information they are interested in and then, if they wish, drill down to find more detail.
Easier to understand
The Met Office will be making the warnings easier to understand by:
  • simplifying the language to make it less technical;
  • replacing the current Early, Flash and Advisory categories with Alerts (issued more than 24 hours ahead) and Warnings (issued less than 24 hours ahead).
More impact-based
Warnings will now be based on both the expected weather conditions and the potential impact that this may cause. This should make warnings more relevant for the public and responders.
Consistent language
The Met Office has made the language used in warnings consistent with terms used by other organisations such as the Environment Agency.

Benefits to users

The changes detailed above will help to bring the following benefits to users:

  • Easier to understand warnings.
  • Basic information at a glance.
  • Fewer but more relevant warnings.


The improved warnings service is due to be launched at the end of March 2011. Please keep checking back on our website for more information and visuals of the website as we move towards launch.

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