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
425 PM CST TUE FEB 19 2019
PLEASE NOTE...This product is for guidance purposes primarily, therefore, forecast errors may be large.
OUTLOOK VAID: 02/19/19 - 02/26/19
....WINTER STORM POTENTIAL FOR THE REGION (SHORT TERM) = MODERATE ... (LONGER TERM) = LOW THREAT.
Flow aloft remains primarily from the southwest from the base of an expanding mid level trough across the rockies, and high pressure over
the Bahamas. The polar jet dips out of central Canada and heads eastward just north of the border. Some phasing of these streams seems
plausable as the rockies trough heads east, and begins to enhance surface cyclogenesis across southcentral IA on Wednesday. This all points
to another potentially strong storm for much of the region Wednesday and Wednesday night. Up to six inches of new snow is forecast for
the advisory areas, while the warning areas may receive up to 10 inches. This system is a quick hitter, and will be heading out of the area
on Thursday. Looking longer term, yet the potential is increasing for a more intense winter storm for late Saturday into early Monday. But
their is still plenty of uncertainties at this time.
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