Just when you think you've figured out the difference between a warning and a watch, the National Weather Service is making some changes in CNY. Buh-bye, Lake Effect Snow Watch.

In an effort to simplify the "hazard warning" system, the National Weather Service has undertaken the Hazard Simplification Project (which they shorten to the adorable "Haz Simp" project, in case you were wondering how really into weather they are).

So what does this mean to you?

The winter weather events you're used to hearing about - blizzards, freezing rain, lake effect snow - will now be grouped into a larger watch and warning: Winter Weather. It'll be up to you to watch your local forecast to figure out what kind of weather they mean.

It still sounds confusing. Allow us to propose a simpler alternative. The "Regular People" Weather System:

1. Maybe - it could happen, conditions are looking like it.

2. Probably - better than 50/50 chance you're getting snowed on today

3. Definitely - oh yeah, it's coming

4. Happening - oh look, stuff is falling from the sky.

There's an optional 'Oh Crap' category - which indicates that we grossly underestimated the forecast and we hope you've got a generator and canned soup, but that's still under consideration.

Lake effect snow or "winter weather" - whatever, we're still getting snowed on.



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