Discussion


Day 1 - Today
Primary Hazard: -
Forecaster:

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Day 2 - Tomorrow

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Day 3 - Tuesday

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Day 4 - Wednesday

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Thunderstorm Outlook Types

General
  • No threat of severe weather.
Strong
  • More intense than general t-storm
  • May briefly reach severe intensity
  • Hail
  • Strong wind gusts
  • Weak Tornado
Severe
  • T-storms capable of severe weather
  • Large Hail >= 1"
  • Wind gusts >= 58mph
  • Tornadoes
Significant
  • Widespread or significant severe weather impacts
  • Worst of the worst, the most intense.
  • Large Hail >= 2"
  • Wind gusts >= 75mph
  • Tornadoes (Strong?)
Target
  • Zone of greatest impact
  • Combination of forecast model interpretation and gut feeling
  • First to be upgraded on future updates
What is the outlook forecast timeframe?
Forecast timeframes start and end at 12z UTC each day. 7AM CDT in summer and 6AM CST in winter.
Why do outlooks start/end at 12UTC?
6AM statiscally is the average daily minimum in severe thunderstorm activity. Any thunderstorm that occurs before 6AM is generally considered a product of the previous day. It fits nicely with our outlooks service workflow. For major snow storms we can be more flexible with the timeframe.
Why should I use WISCONSINWX.COM Hazardous Weather Outlooks over other alternatives?
We are independent and capable of creating our own forecasts. We are experts on Wisconsin severe weather trends having chased storms for many years. Our accuracy is as good or better than the alternatives.
What does "Target" zone for Thunderstorm outlooks mean?
"Target" = most likely to be impacted. We treat it like a target area in storm chasing which is a combination of logic and gut feeling. "Target" zones are often (but not always) upgraded to the next threat level on subsquent updates. We challenge ourselves with trying to bullseye the greatest impact.
Are outlooks member-only?
Day 1 is always open to the public(free), but Days 2+ are member only "insider information". Outlooks take a lot of time/effort. They are special forecasts tailored to Wisconsin. Occassionally admins will use Day 2+ outlooks for forecast graphics and facebook stories.
Can I share outlook graphics?
Yes, you may share any graphic on this page even if it's member only. A shout out is always appreciated!
How are these maps created?
We draw them in Google Maps and process them on our website. Each map is hand drawn from scratch by one of our admins.
Tornadoes are expected today, but your outlook only shows a Strong t-storm threat?
Tornadoes can occur in non-severe storms with no lightning, hail, or gusty winds. We would call that a strong thunderstorm. Severe and Significant thunderstorm threats would suggest mulitple tornadoes and/or strong tornadoes.Matter of semantics but also designed to suppress "cry-wolf" ideology.
Can I embed your Day 1 Outlook on my website?
No, but it is possible. The web space simply hasn't been created yet. Please contact us if you would like to do this and we will prioritize.
How are outlook color table schemes determined?
Trial and error over a long period of time. If something looks or feels weird it gets changed eventually.
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