Winter weather alerts have been simplified – here's what they mean

This might help people actually understand what's in the forecast.

Sometimes weather alerts can be confusing, so the National Weather Service is trying to make it easier. 

The federal agency is tasked at issuing watches, warnings and advisories for any adverse weather forecast. And this fall, the National Weather Service simplified how it warns people about winter weather by combining similar weather alerts, a news release says

So some of the winter weather alerts you usually see will be covered by broader alerts. This infographic shows what's changing: 

For example, the National Weather Service will no longer issue freezing rain advisories, but it will include information about the possibility of freezing rain in the winter weather advisory. 

This is good news for anyone who actually wants to know what's happening with the weather. The Washington Post noted that with a storm in 2014, there were 14 different types of watches, warnings and advisories issued to tell people that there was a risk of snow, flooding and wind. 

That's pretty ridiculous, which is why the National Weather Service is working to simply its alert system.

Plus, the alerts it does issue will be shorter, aimed at addressing the "what, where and when" of winter hazards, as well as providing additional details and actions you can take to protect yourself, an explainer video says

The National Weather Service plans to make more changes to weather alerts for different seasons in the spring. 

If you're looking for current weather alerts in Minnesota, click here. And click here for winter safety tips from the National Weather Service.

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