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How far out can we predict?
Storms can be forecast up to around 10 days before the event. In most situations details will not become clear until 3-5 days prior. In summer predictability decreases further (1-2 days) with convective precipitation modes.
How do start and end dates work?
The start date is the anticipiated arrival of the storm anywhere in Wisconsin. So if you live in Milwaukee and the storm is moving in from Minneapolis with a start time of 12PM, assume that it will take a bit longer to start at your location. Same concept with the end date.
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?
Outlooks take a lot of time/effort. They are special forecasts tailored to Wisconsin. Ocassionally admins will use outlooks for forecast graphics and facebook stories.
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 possible today but your forecast only shows a Strong Thunderstorm 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. We approach it this way to avoid "cry-wolf" ideology.
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