National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


The National Weather Service in Lincoln, Illinois issues a variety of products covering 35 counties in central and southeast Illinois.  These products are used by the media, emergency managers, and the public.  The products are accessed through a variety of methods, including the NOAA Weather Wire Service (NWWS),the NWS AWIPS network, the Emergency Managers Weather Information Network (EMWIN), and private vendors.  This guide gives a summary of the products, including necessary header information.

The listing is broken down into Severe Weather Products, Non-Convective Hazardous Weather Products, Forecast Products, Hydrological Products, Climate Products, and Miscellaneous Products.

 Severe Weather Products

Hazardous Weather Outlook
WMO Header:  FLUS43 KILX

The Hazardous Weather Outlook, issued 3 times a day (6 AM, 11:30 AM, 3 PM), highlights any expected hazardous weather conditions over the next 7 days.  This includes, but is not limited to, severe weather, flooding, extreme heat or cold, winter weather hazards, and dense fog.

Local Storm Report
WMO Header:  NWUS53 KILX

The Local Storm Report product gives a detailed listing of observed severe weather across central and southeast Illinois.  It is often issued during a severe weather event,  a few reports at a time, but it is always issued after an event has ended containing a summary of all reports.  Data listed should be considered preliminary, as further investigation may be necessary in some cases.  This product is used as input to the national Daily Severe Weather Statistics compiled by the Storm Prediction Center. During the wintertime, it will be used to list snowfall reports from around the area.

Special Weather Statement
WMO Header:  WWUS83 KILX

The Special Weather Statement is used to alert the public to funnel clouds which form in non-severe weather conditions, which are not expected to touch down. It may also be issued periodically on a significant weather event that is expected in the next few days.  During near-severe weather situations, this product will be issued as a Significant Weather Advisory, to indicate the possibility of nickel or penny size hail, or winds just under severe strength.

Severe Weather Statement
WMO Header:  WWUS53 KILX
A Severe Weather Statement is used to disseminate follow-up information on severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings.  This can include actual severe weather reports, current radar information, and towns expected to be in the path of the storms.  This statement is also used to cancel warnings, and to give follow-up information after a warning has expired. 

Severe Thunderstorm Warning
WMO Header:  WUUS53 KILX
Severe Thunderstorm Warnings are issued for storms which are currently or expected to produce either winds of 58 mph or more, hail 1 inch or greater diameter, or both.   These are issued for counties or portions of counties, and are typically an hour or less in length.

Tornado Warning
WMO Header:  WFUS53 KILX

Tornado Warnings are issued for expected tornadic activity over a county, or a portion of a county.  A warning may be issued based on Doppler radar indications of a tornado, reports of a funnel cloud, or observed tornado sightings.  Tornado Warnings are typically valid for 45 minutes or less.

Watch County Notification
WMO Header:  WWUS63 KILX

The Watch County Notification product is issued during severe thunderstorm and tornado watches, to indicate which counties are included in the watch, which ones have been removed, or if an short extension to a watch is being issued.

 Non-Convective Hazardous Weather Products

Non-Precipitation Weather Message
WMO Header:  WWUS73 KILX

The Non- Precipitation Weather Message is used to issue watches, advisories, warnings, cancellations, or updates for various weather phenomena.  These include:  Dense fog, high winds, excessive heat indices, frost and freeze, and blowing dust.   This product is generally issued every 6 hours until the phenomena ends.

Winter Weather Message
WMO Header:  WWUS43 KILX

The Winter Weather Message is used to issue watches, advisories, warnings, cancellations, or updates for various winter weather phenomena.   It is generally issued every 6 hours until the phenomena ends.

Forecast Products

Area Forecast Discussion
WMO Header:   FXUS63 KILX

The Area Forecast Discussion is issued routinely for public forecasts around 3:30 AM, 11 AM, 3 PM, and 9 PM; for aviation forecasts around 12:30 AM, 6:30 AM, 12:30 PM, and 6:30 PM CDT (one hour earlier in CST); and at other times as necessary.  The forecaster gives his/her analysis of the current weather situation, information on the computer models, and forecast reasoning.  The discussion includes a listing of non-convective watches, warnings and advisories that will be in effect, on the line following ".ILX WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...".

Fire Weather Planning Forecast
WMO Header:  FNUS53 KILX

The Fire Weather Planning Forecast is issued twice daily around 5 AM and 3 PM.  It contains forecasts critical for fire control, such as temperatures, winds, drying conditions, and humidity.  It is typically issued during the spring and fall seasons.

Point Forecast Matrix
WMO Header:  FOUS53 KILX

The Point Forecast Matrix product is a tabular listing of expected weather elements over the next several days, at specific cities in central and southeast Illinois.  It is similar to the Model Output Statistics (MOS) guidance, but reflects forecaster input into the process.  Contents include expected temperature, dew point, humidity, wind, sky condition, and precipitation chances and amounts in 3 hourly increments.

Tabular State Forecast
WMO Header:  FPUS63 KILX

The Tabular State Forecast is issued twice daily, around 4 AM and 4 PM.  It gives specific temperature forecasts for 26 locations in Illinois for the next 7 days, as well as a one-word summary of the weather conditions expected.  Although issued by the Lincoln NWS, forecast information is contributed by the Quad Cities, Chicago, St. Louis and Paducah NWS offices for use in this product.

Terminal Aerodrome Forecast (TAF)
WMO Header:  FTUS80 KWBC
AWIPS Headers:  CHITAFBMI (Bloomington), CHITAFCMI (Champaign), CHITAFDEC (Decatur), CHITAFPIA (Peoria), CHITAFSPI (Springfield)

These coded messages, for aviation interests, are issued routinely 4 times a day, at 0530, 1130, 1730 and 2330 UTC, and updated as necessary.  The forecasts contain information related to wind, visibility, weather hazards, and cloud levels for a 24 hour period.

Weather Summary
WMO Header:  AWUS83 KILX

The Weather Summary gives a brief overview of the weather across central and southeast Illinois over the past 12 hours, and an outlook of expected weather conditions over the Midwest the next couple of days.  Expected positions of weather systems, forecasts of precipitation, and temperatures are included.  The product is targeted for media use, with release times designated to give weathercasters input for their newscast.  The product is issued 4 times a day, around 5 AM, 11 AM, 3 PM and 9 PM.

Zone Forecast Product
WMO Header:  FPUS53 KILX

The Zone Forecast Product gives specific forecasts for out to 7 days in the 35 counties covered by the Lincoln NWS office.  The product is routinely issued at 4 AM and 3:30 PM, and updated as necessary.  Forecasts are broken up into "zones"; in Illinois, each county is a zone.  When necessary, a forecast section is headlined with a watch, warning or advisory for hazardous weather.

 Hydrological Products

Daily River and Lake Summary
WMO Header:  FGUS53 KILX

This product gives forecast river levels for the Illinois River at Henry, Peoria, Peoria Lock and Dam, Havana, and Beardstown for the next 5 days.  It is issued twice daily, typically around 10 AM and 9 PM.

Drought Information Statement
WMO Header:  AXUS73 KILX

The Drought Information Statement is issued on an as-needed basis.  It gives a summary of drought conditions across the Lincoln NWS coverage area, impacts of the drought, details on specific indices use to determine drought status, and outlook information.

Flash Flood Warning
WMO Header:  WGUS53 KILX

The Flash Flood Warning is issued when life-threatening, short-term flooding is imminent.   This can include flooding due to heavy rainfall or due to a dam break.  Flash Flood Warnings may be valid for up to 6 hours, and can be extended as necessary.

Flash Flood Statement
WMO Header:  WGUS73 KILX

The Flash Flood Statement is issued to update the status of short-term flash flood situations.  It can contain information on reported rainfall, radar estimates of rain, and forecast amounts of rain in the future.

Flood Statement

The Flood Statement product can be issued for a number of reasons:  1) Follow-up information on Flood Warnings, either county-based or river-based;  or 2) Short-term flooding which may cause an inconvenience, but is not considered to be threatening ("urban and small stream flooding").  When issued for river forecast purposes, they are issued twice daily per river, usually between 9-11 AM and between 8-10 PM.

Flood Watch
WMO Header:  WGUS63 KILX

The Flood Watch is issued when heavy rainfall is forecast to cause significant or widespread flooding.  This is usually issued least 6 hours in advance of the expected event, and on occasion as much as a day in advance.  If the event is still a few days away, a Hydrologic Outlook (FGUS73 KILX) may be issued instead, to give a heads-up to the potential of heavy rainfall.

Flood Warning
WMO Header:  WGUS43 KILX

The Flood Warning product is issued when river levels are expected to rise to potentially damaging levels.  Flood Warnings can also be used when overland flooding is expected to persist for several hours, but rapid changes in flood levels are not expected.

Hydrologic Outlook
WMO Header:  FGUS73 KILX

The Hydrologic Outlook is used to give an outlook of possible flooding over the next few days, or to give advance notice of potential river flooding when Quantitative Precipitation Forecasts (QPF) indicate the possibility of heavy rain.  In the late winter and early spring, this product gives information on the possibility of flooding due to snowmelt and expected springtime precipitation.

Hydrologic Summary
WMO Header:  SRUS43 KILX

The Hydrologic Summary product is issued daily at 8:35 AM.  It contains observed river levels and precipitation at selected stations along the following rivers:  Illinois, Mackinaw, Spoon, Sangamon, Wabash, Embarras, Vermilion, and Little Wabash; Salt Creek; and lake levels at Lakes Clinton, Decatur, Shelbyville and Springfield.

Hydrologic Statement
WMO Header:  FGUS83 KILX

The Hydrologic Statement is used to give information on significant, within-bank rises on area rivers, but flood conditions are not expected.

Precipitation Summary
WMO Header:  SXUS83 KILX

The Precipitation Summary is issued around 10:15 AM daily.  It summarizes precipitation and snowfall reports from the CoCoRaHS observation network.

 Climate Products

Annual Climatological Summaries
WMO Header:  CXUS53 KILX
AWIPS Headers:  CHICLAPIA (Peoria), CHICLASPI (Springfield), CHICLACMI (Champaign), CHICLADEC (Decatur), CHICLAILX (Lincoln), CHICLALWV (Lawrenceville), CHICLAMTO (Mattoon)

Preliminary climatological summaries for the previous year are issued on or just after the 1st of January.  The summaries include average temperature and maximum observed values, degree days, precipitation, and comparisons to normal.

Daily Climatological Summaries
WMO Header:  CDUS43 KILX
AWIPS Headers:  CHICLIPIA (Peoria), CHICLISPI (Springfield), CHICLICMI (Champaign), CHICLIDEC (Decatur), CHICLIILX (Lincoln), CHICLILWV (Lawrenceville), CHICLIMTO (Mattoon)

Climatological summaries for data collected at these respective airports are issued twice daily (1:30 AM and 4:30 PM).  These summaries contain information on temperatures, degree days, precipitation, wind, climatological normals, and records.

Monthly Climatological Summaries
WMO Header:  CXUS53 KILX
AWIPS Headers:  CHICLMPIA (Peoria), CHICLMSPI (Springfield), CHICLMCMI (Champaign), CHICLMDEC (Decatur), CHICLMILX (Lincoln), CHICLMLWV (Lawrenceville), CHICLMMTO (Mattoon)

Preliminary climatological summaries for the past month are issued on the 1st of each month.  The summaries include average temperature and maximum observed values, degree days, precipitation, and comparisons to normal.

Record Report
WMO Header:  SXUS73 KILX
AWIPS Header:  CHIRERILX (Lincoln), CHIRERPIA (Peoria), CHIRERSPI (Springfield)

The Record Report is issued when record conditions have been observed from central Illinois official observing sites.

Regional Temperature and Precipitation Table
WMO Header:  ASUS63 KILX

The Regional Temperature and Precipitation Table is issued several times daily:  1:30 AM CST/CDT, 6:15 AM CST (7:15 AM CDT), 8:30 AM CST/CDT, 4:30 PM CST/CDT, and 6:15 PM CST (7:15 PM CDT).  It contains basic climate information from around central Illinois, either from airport observation sites or cooperative observers.   The data primarily consists of high and low temperatures, and measured precipitation.

Seasonal Climatological Summaries
WMO Header:  CXUS53 KILX
AWIPS Headers:  CHICLSPIA (Peoria), CHICLSSPI (Springfield), CHICLSCMI (Champaign), CHICLSDEC (Decatur), CHICLSILX (Lincoln), CHICLSLWV (Lawrenceville), CHICLSMTO (Mattoon)

Preliminary climatological summaries for the past season (3-month period) are issued on the 1st of March, June, September, and December.  The summaries include average temperature and maximum observed values, degree days, precipitation, and comparisons to normal.


 Miscellaneous Products

Administrative Message
WMO Header:  WOUS43 KILX
This message is used to provide follow-up information by the Illinois State Police (ISP), Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), or local ESDA/EMA offices to non-weather-related bulletins.

Child Abduction Emergency
WMO Header:  WOUS43 KILX

Child Abduction Emergencies, also known as Amber Alerts, will be transmitted at the request of ISP for a child abduction anywhere in Illinois. 

Civil Emegency Message
WMO Header:  WOUS43 KILX
Civil Emergency Messages are used to inform the public of a non-weather related, hazardous emergency.   The product is issued at the request of an official agency, such as local or county government officials, or IEMA.

Civil Danger Warning
WMO Header:  WOUS43 KILX

A Civil Danger Warning, transmitted at the request of IEMA or the Department of Homeland Security, is a message warning of an event that presents a danger to a significant civilian population.  Examples include a contaminated water supply, and imminent or in-progress military or terrorist attack.

Fire Warning
WMO Header:  WOUS43 KILX

This message warns of a spreading wildfire or structural fire that threatens a populated area.  This product would be relayed at the request of authorized issues (state government, ESDA/EMA, etc.)

Hazardous Materials Warning
WMO Header:  WOUS43 KILX

The Hazardous Materials Warning is used to relay information from IEMA or local officials of the release of a non-radioactive hazardous material, such as a flammable or toxic gas, toxic chemical, or biological agent.  Evacuation or shelter-in-place information may be included.

Law Enforcement Warning
WMO Header:  WOUS43 KILX

The Law Enforcement Warning message, from IEMA or local officials, is a warning of a bomb explosion, riot, or other criminal activity.  An authorized law enforcement agency may blockade roads, waterways, or facilities, evacuate or deny access to affected areas, and arrest violators or suspicious persons.

Nuclear Power Plant Warning

This emergency message by IEMA will provide information on incidents (Site Area Emergency or General Emergency) at the Clinton nuclear power plant.   It may include information on evacuation or medical treatment of people in the general area.

Public Information Statement
WMO Header:  NOUS43 KILX
The Public Information Statement is used for a variety of purposes.  They include notifications of NOAA Weather Radio failure, storm damage surveys, severe weather safety rules, earthquakes, and media advisories.

Radar Outage Notification
WMO Header:  NOUS63 KILX

The Radar Outage Notification is to inform NWS offices, vendors, and users of WSR-88D data that the radar at Lincoln has experienced an outage (either planned or unexpected).  It includes reasons for the outage if known, expected outage time, and a statement of which surrounding radars can be used for radar information in central and southeast Illinois.

Radiological Hazard Warning
WMO Header:  WOUS43 KILX

The Radiological Hazard Warning, relayed at the request of IEMA, provides information on the loss, discovery, or release of a radiological hazard.  Examples include: theft of radioactive isotopes from medical facilities; discovery of radioactive materials; transportation accidents involving nuclear weapons or radioactive waste.

Shelter in Place Warning
WMO Header:  WOUS43 KILX

The Shelter in Place Warning, relayed at request of IEMA or local personnel, warns of an event where the public is recommended to shelter in place (go inside, close doors and windows, turn off air conditioning or furnaces, and tune to local radio/TV).

911 Telephone Outage Emergency
WMO Header:  WOUS43 KILX

The 911 Telephone Outage Emergency message relays information about a failure of 911 services to a particular area.  It is relayed at the request of local emergency officials.