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Severe weather risk and flash flood potential continue on Sunday

Strong to severe thunderstorms are expected across much of the central and southern Plains on Sunday. The Storm Prediction Center has an area of Slight Risk highlighted in Texas for the area with the greatest risk of severe weather; tornadoes, hail and damaging winds are all possible. Flash flooding is also forecast from central Iowa into southern Texas where the heaviest rainfall is expected.

Please Comment

The National Weather Service is accepting comments until March 28, 2014 on proposed changes to the icons we use to depict forecast weather conditions on our Point Forecast web pages.

Here, for reference, is an example of a current Point Forecast Page for a point near Washington D.C.  The forecast icons are found just beneath the text "2 Miles ESE Washington DC”:

These changes are intended to enhance communication of rapidly changing weather conditions, while also highlighting current weather hazards by:

(1) Using a new set of icon images designed to be more visually discernable.

(2) Changing the current temporal display (only one icon shown for each 12-hour period) to a combination of single and, when appropriate, dual 6-hourly icons.  In this proposal, dual icons would be used only when rapidly changing weather conditions within 12-hour periods dictate their use, and only for the first four days of the forecast period.

(3) Creating new text phrases to be placed underneath the dual icons to describe these changing weather conditions (e.g., “morning sun then afternoon showers”).  Some of the new phrases under dual icons are proposed to be shortened (e.g., “mostly sunny” becomes “sunny”) due to space restrictions.  However, complete phrases would remain available via icon mouse-over, as with the operational Point Forecast pages.

(4) Adding yellow, red, and orange blocks around the icons, to indicate when Watches, Warnings and Advisories (WWAs), respectively, are in effect.  

To facilitate comment, we provide four example sets of icon pairs below, designed to depict a variety of high-impact weather scenarios.  For each pairing, the top row shows how the icons appear today on the Point Forecast pages, while the second row shows how the proposed new set of icons would appear for the same scenario.

To provide comments, please go to our standard survey link below or click on the “Please Comment” link at the top of this page.  Partners and users are encouraged to focus on answering Question 3 with comments to let us know what you like about the proposed alternative, Question 4 with comments to let us know what you do not like, and Question 8 to let us know if you support a change to the proposed new icons.

NWS will review and analyze the feedback collected during this comment period and then determine whether or not to implement the proposed changes to the icons.  A Public Information Statement will be issued if a decision is made to implement, along with a scheduled date for implementation.

A Product Description Document (PDD) providing more details about this proposed change is online at: ver 2.pdf

Point Forecast Icon Examples for Public Comment

Example 1:   Dense Fog is expected - but only during the late night and early morning hours Tonight into Saturday.   A  “Dense Fog Advisory” is issued for this period and a “High Wind Watch” is also issued for Monday and Monday Night.

Current Icons:


Proposed New Icons:

Example 2:   There is a chance for thunderstorms on Wednesday afternoon extending into Thursday morning, but no thunderstorms are expected either Wednesday morning or Thursday afternoon.   An “Excessive Heat Warning” is issued for This Afternoon through Tuesday.

Current Icons:

Proposed New Icons:

Example 3:  Depicts a rain/freezing rain event where the rain changes to freezing rain late in the Tonight period and then back to rain on Saturday.   A “Freezing Rain Advisory” is issued for late Tonight and Saturday morning.

Current Icons:

Proposed New Icons:


Example 4:  Depicts a case where snow is expected Tonight, and then snow mixed with sleet is expected through Wednesday evening, but the probability of each varies markedly within their respective 12-hour periods. Also depicts proposed new "mixed rain and snow" icons for This Afternoon and Friday Night, and a new "snow mixed with sleet" icon for Wednesday evening.

Current Icons:

Proposed New Icons: