WINTER STORM OUTLOOK
Welcome to our "Winter Storm Outlook " page! This page was redesigned to make it easier to obtain the information you want to know.
This product, like similar products we release, is created for "guidance" purposes only. Therefore we ask that you bear this in mind, because
forecast errors in the time frame of this product can be large! We have revised the graphics and have discontinued the use of
"probabilities" in the product. This was due to the fact that certain winter weather products don't really warrant probability usage. Another
change to this product was to eliminate the "older style" of everything in a table concept. Instead, we now incorporate all the graphics into
a single pane, which will allow you to select each days outlook graphic using tabs located above the grid panel (see below). A complete
text summary for the entire outlook period appears below the graphics. We believe this approach will make it a lot easier for you to obtain
the latest information while bolstering it's usefulness too.
The Elusive Winter Storm!
Winter storms can and generally do pose many kinds of hazardous winter weather elements, such as heavy snowfall, strong winds, sleet, and
even some freezing rain. In the extreme cases, high winds and very heavy snowfall can result in "whiteout", or blizzard conditions. Because
these storms can cover multiple states at the same time, and their often "erratic" movement, the skill of predicting where such storms will
move to becomes a huge challenge to forecasters, especially further in advance of a storm. Because of the steering currents of air aloft, a
winter storm can change it's direction of movement several times during it's developmental stages, and even during it's life cycle. While
every effort is made to render the most accurate forecast track of a winter storm, such forecast errors can still be large. This is fully
illustrated by the image below.
So bear this in mind as you read of a potential winter storm for the coverage region in this outlook!
Below is the main graphical display of the charts, followed by the textual discussion below that. This product is valid from the current date
out seven (7) days ahead. It is issued once per day around noon local time, and is updated as necessary.
The following table summerizes the categorical levels of risk we use in this outlook, what they mean, and most importantly, what YOU should do
in each instance. Remember, every situation is different, so you need to adjust your actions accordingly.
STORM POTENTIAL ||
WHAT IT MEANS! ||
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO
NO STORMS EXPECTED
||No significant major winter storms are expected for the forecast period.
||No actions are required.
||There is a small chance for a significant major winter storm. But this is far from certain!
||No actions are needed. But keep up with later outlooks as things may change.
||There is a low risk for a significant major winter storm. But there still remains some uncertainty regarding evolution.
||Pay attention to later outlooks for the current information. Go ahead with any travel plans, but bear this in mind.
||Confidence is high enough that a significant major winter storm will impact all, or parts of our coverage region.
||If you have any travel or other outdoor activities planned, you better carry them out immediately, or hold off until
the storm passes. Roads and highways will likely deteriorate quickly once the snow arrives.
||A significant major winter storm is imminent.
||Any travel or other outdoor activities planned should be canceled until the storm has passed. Never travel even for
short distances! You can become lost very quickly.
Outlook Discussion (Text)
REGIONAL WINTER STORM OUTLOOK NARRATIVE
SCO/MIDWEST WEATHER SERVICE STEVENS POINT/WHITING WI
1049 AM CDT TUE APR 17 2018
PLEASE NOTE...This product is for guidance purposes primarily, therefore, forecast errors may be large.
OUTLOOK VAID: 04/17/18 - 04/24/18
....WINTER STORM POTENTIAL FOR THE REGION (SHORT TERM) = LOW THREAT ... (LONGER TERM) = NO THREAT.
A highly amplified but progressive pattern has established across the CONUS, and should remain in this general position into late
week at least. The pattern currently is characterized in a low-high-low configuration, with both lows on the east and west coasts,
and shortwave ridging in the middle of the country. For today, that ridging will shift east across the area, along with surface high
pressure. Then, our attention focuses on the next shortwave system developing over the southcentral plains. While this system
will not be as strong as the last storm, it appears capable of producing more snow and mixed precipitation to parts of the region
on Wednesday and Wednesday night. By Thursday, day 3, this system should be well east of the region. It then looks like the
weather starts to settle down as the pattern aloft tries to revert back to a near zonal flow for the remainder of the forecast period.
Notice: The final winter storm outlook for the season will be issued on Friday, 20 April 2018. This,
and all winter related products will be discontinued at that time. These products will resume being issued next fall.
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