Our Outlook Forecast Center

Welcome to our " Outlook Forecast Center". This page will contain our complete severe weather outlook suit of products, including the outlooks for our coverage region, heavy rainfall/flood potential products, and our most recent addition our "Great Lakes Severe Weather Outlooks". Now you may wonder, why would we issue severe weather outlooks for the Great Lakes? This is because many of the men and women crew members of the larger freight, ore, and taconite ships use and requested we create and issue specially tailored outlooks for the Great Lakes. Now they have the information they need. There are also blank weather charts and knowing your risk for severe storms available for download. Finally, a special section has been created for any significant or "major" severe thunderstorm and/or tornado outbreaks that may be forecast for the region. Links which take you to other related pages are provided on this page as well.
It's your complete one stop shop for all the latest severe weather forecast information.

The table shown below will explain when each of our forecast products are issued and routinely updated. Some of our products are updated routinely several times a day, while others are updated less frequent. Note, event driven products are unscheduled and are issued as is necessary. These products are marked by the star (*) symbol.

Convective Outlook - Day 1
Convective Outlook - Day 2
Convective Outlook - Day 3
Convective Outlook - Days 4-7
Heavy Rainfall/Flood Potential Outlook
*Situation Report
Lake Superior Severe Outlook
Lake Michigan Severe Outlook
*Off-Season Severe Weather Outlook
ARES Storm Chaser Outlook
This product is issued at the following times: 7:00 am with updates at: 11:00 am, 3:00 pm. and 8:00 pm respectively.
This product is issued at 8:00 am initially, and updated at 2:00 pm each day.
This product is issued once a day at 8:30 am.
This product has been discontinued.
This product is issued initially at 9:30 am, then updated around 4:00 pm.
This product is "event-driven", and only issued as necessary.
This product is issued at around 10:00 am, then updated around 4:30 pm daily.
This product is issued at around 10:00 am, then updated around 4:30 pm daily.
This product is "event-driven", and only issued when a threat for severe storms is indicated.
See issuance times for the day 1 outlook (to the left) for more details.

The storm Spotter/Chaser's Perspective

Dedicated and spirited people who are properly trained, serve as the backbone of our existing warning service today. Prior to 1980, the National Weather Service was using very outdated WSR-57c radar equipment, and aging AFOS and other computer equipment. Despite the hard work of the spotters and chasers giving their reports, some warnings often came late, or were missed entirely. This caused many people to begin loosing confidence in warnings being issued. When their was a tornado warning issued, people had only 3 minutes to seek shelter! Three minutes! Today, with all ultra advanced computer systems, GOES satellites, WSR-88d (Doppler) radar, and other equipment, the National Weather Service can provide warning for tornadoes for up to 13 minutes in advance. With all the "ground truth" reports submitted by the spotters and/or chasers, helps forecasters make better decisions with warnings issued to the public.
We have a page created for all our spotter and chaser groups to obtain any information they need to do their jobs. That page is here. Check it out!

All forecast products

In the following table, you will be able to access any of our severe weather forecast products we produce everyday. To go directly to a particular forecast product, just click on the link associated with the product you wish to view. (Note): On some products you may see multiple links, but only the valid product link will be available at any one time.

Day 1 Convective Outlook

Day 2 Convective Outlook

Day 3 Convective Outlook

4-8 Day Convective Outlook

* Situation Report (Event-driven)

* Off Season Convective Outlook (Event-driven)

Heavy Rainfall/Flood Potential Outlook

Lake Superior Marine Thunderstorm Outlook

Lake Michigan Marine Thunderstorm Outlook

ARES Storm Spotter/Chaser Information

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VT 1100 AM
VT 100 PM
VT 900 AM
None Vaild

None Issued
None Issued
None Issued
Skywarn Page

Special PDS (Particularly Dangerous Situation) Section

We have reserved this section for any significant, or "major" severe weather outbreaks across our coverage region. Such extreme weather events in our coverage region are rare, but they have occurred in previous years and decades. A significant severe weather outbreak is declared when any of the following events are expected:

Other elements, such as large diameter hail (greater then 2.5 inches in diameter), dangerous lightning, and heavy rainfall may also occur with these outbreak events. Typically, the prediction of these more extreme weather events is not always cold cut until at least 3 days from the date the event is expected. However, we do try to provide as much information in our outlooks as possible ahead of time, so that people and agencies can know what is possible. When ever we declare a PDS situation, all interests within the targeted areas should closely monitor local weather forecasts and statements for updated information.
PDS STATEMENT FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS (DERECHO EVENTS) 0000 UTC To provide critical information concerning widespread significant Derecho events.
PDS STATEMENT FOR SIGNIFICANT-VIOLENT TORNADOES 0000 UTC To provide critical information concerning widespread significant tornado outbreak events.

The above flashing light is our "Outbreak Indicator". This light will change color when a specific type of severe outbreak is forecast. This is described below:
Flashing Green Light This indicates no significant severe weather outbreak is expected. But, strong storms may still occur.
Flashing Yellow Light This indicates a significant severe weather outbreak is possible within 24 hours. However, this is not a certainty! Check with later outlooks for details.
Flashing Blue Light This indicates a widespread significant Derecho event is likely. Please monitor the latest information.
Flashing Red Light This indicates a widespread significant tornado outbreak is likely. Please monitor the latest information..

Please note: On occasion, the anticipated outbreak may involve both Derechos and tornadoes at the same time. In these borderline cases, we'll usually try to nail down what facet(s) are most likely to occur. Sometimes, we are able to do this, while other times, it becomes quite challenging. The science of weather prediction is not perfect. But hey, we'll do our best.

Goodie Downloads

Below are a few "goodies" we have created which you can download for free for use in your teaching at school or college, or for your own forecast purposes. These include special station maps at the surface and upper air across the country. These charts are printable black and white (8.5 x 11) PDF files. Feel free to grab yourself a copy. We also have created some brochures which may be of interest to you. In addition, we have created a special "Know your risks" paper, which outlines the risks of severe weather. This comes in two versions. All these publications are in PDF format. As time permits, more brochures may be posted.

Blank Surface Station Chart
Blank Upper-air Station Chart
Your Risks (version 1)
Your Risks (version 2)
Understanding Lightning
Understanding Thunderstorms
Understanding Tornadoes


In this section, we will feature additional products which are currently "experimental" in nature. These products are being tested for quality and usefulness to our clients and public. Since these products are still experimental, they may not always be current.

Return to the storm center.