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National weather service seeks feedback: How do you perceive frost and freeze alerts?

Public survey is available until Dec. 17th
Published: Dec. 4, 2020 at 6:17 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The National Weather Service is looking for your feedback. Answering a few questions on an online survey could provide essential information, and bring about a change to the advisory, watches, and warning products for frost and freezes.

Currently, there are five frost and freeze products. Frost advisory, freeze watch, freeze warning, hard freeze watch, and hard freeze warning.

For these weather alerts to be issued, certain criteria must be met.

Steve Runnells, a Warning Coordination Meteorologist for NWS Springfield, said, “A frost can occur pretty much if it’s clear out, winds become light, and temperatures drop into the lower or mid-30s.”

Freezes occur when temperatures are below 32 degrees. When these conditions are forecasted, a watch or warning is issued.

“If they drop all the way down into the 20s, that’s when we issue a hard freeze,” Runnells said.

These five alert products may seem confusing for some, which is why the NWS wants to learn how the public perceives these products, and how the public responds when warnings are issued.

“We need feedback on how we’re doing,” Runnells said.

Runnells said while weather forecasts have been improving over the last few years, warning products have seen little change.

Through December 17, a survey will be available online to get public feedback on the frost and freeze alerts. This survey is not technical and does not require any previous knowledge of weather or warnings.

The NWS is exploring potential changes and improvements to the way it displays and communicates frost and freeze events....

Posted by US National Weather Service Springfield Missouri on Tuesday, December 1, 2020

“Part of it is geared toward what you know about frosts and freezes. It also provides an opportunity to provide insight on how we can do things better,” Runnells said.

The survey only takes a couple of minutes.

The first part of the survey goes over your familiarity with the products. How often you have seen then, which ones you have heard of, and if you have found them helpful.

The second part of the survey tests your understanding of the products after providing definitions.

Finally, you are given three possible scenarios where those five products are instead narrowed down to two or three options.

For example, in proposal 1, the NWS would discontinue freeze watches, hard freeze watches and hard freeze warnings. Instead, only frost advisories and freeze warnings would be issued.

In proposal 2, the NWS would issue frost advisories, freeze warnings, and hard freeze warnings. In this proposal, they would no longer issue freeze watches and hard freeze watches.

“And ultimately in the future. hopefully, deliver a product and service so that people can understand and respond to it,” Runnells said.

Increased public understanding of NWS products is essential in ensuring the protection of life and property.

To take this survey, click the link below. This survey only takes a couple of minutes.

To report a correction or typo, please email news@ky3.com

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