Forecast Products that we issue:

Point-Click Gridpoint Forecasts - Click for info

Short Term Forecast: Short Term Forecasts are issued for the twenty six counties in our County Warning Area (CWA), on an as needed basis, focusing on significant weather phenomena. The product will be issued for the following:
When precipitation is occurring or forecast to occur within the next several hours; when hazardous non-precipitation weather is going to affect the area (dense fog, high winds, bitter cold wind chills, etc); or for significant wind shifts that can be timed across the area. Winter weather and non-precipitation advisories and warnings will be included in a headline for the Short Term Forecasts. A Short Term Forecast will also be issued for extreme Summer time Heat Indices of 100°F or higher, and for extreme Winter time Wind Chills of 0°F or colder.

Zone Forecast: Narrative forecast for each county (or groups of counties) issued twice daily, usually between 3 and 4 am/pm CST/CDT, for central, south central and southeast Kansas. Updates are issued, as needed, based on changes in the expected weather conditions. Winter weather and non-precipitation advisories and warnings will be included in a headline for the Zone Forecasts, as well as severe storm watches and warnings.

Area Forecast Discussion: A discussion of the meteorological forecast reasoning used in making the Zone Forecast. This discussion also includes sight-specific forecasts of temperature and probability of precipitation for many locations across the CWA. The Universal Generic Coding (UGC) information for Winter Weather and Non-Precipitation Watches, Advisories and Warnings is contained at the bottom of the discussion. Severe weather watches and warnings are not included in this product. This product is normally issued twice daily and sent between 3 and 4 am/pm CST/CDT. A preliminary discussion will also often be issued prior to the routine discussion (which usually does not contain the CCF numbers or UGC information described above). Updates are issued on an as needed basis only.

IFPS Graphical Forecast Products: When we make or update a forecast, we first create these IFPS graphics. All our text products are then derived from these IFPS graphics.

Graphical Hazardous Weather Outlook - Click for information on this product.

Area Weather Summary: A brief narrative summary of weather conditions that have occurred and are expected for a multi-state area (generally covering Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and the Texas Panhandle. It is intended as a broad scale weather story for the NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) listeners and various broadcast media, and is issued twice a day between 430 am and 500 am CST/CDT and between 430 and 500 pm CST/CDT.

Aviation Terminal Forecasts: These are 24 hour forecasts of surface wind, ceilings, visibilities, and weather at the following airports: Wichita Mid Continent Airport (KICT), Hutchinson Municipal Airport (KHUT), Chanute Martin Johnson Airport (KCNU), Russell Municipal Airport (KRSL), and Salina Municipal Airport (KSLN). These forecasts are prepared to serve a wide variety of aviation customers, including domestic and international, commercial airlines, general aviation, civilian and military. They also serve the pre-flight and in-flight meteorological service requirement of aviation operations by providing a forecast of weather conditions at the airport. They are issued 4 times per day, for the following times: 00 UTC (Issued at 620-640 pm CDT/520-540 pm CST), 06 UTC (Issued at 1220-1240 am CDT/1120-1140 pm CST), 12 UTC (0620-0640 am CDT/0520-0540 am CST), and 18 UTC (1220-1240 pm CDT/1120-1140 am CST). The TAFs are updated as needed, according to specific NWS amendment criteria, based on thresholds that are significant to the aviation community.

Transcribed Weather Broadcast: NWS offices prepare transcribed weather broadcast (TWEB) text products for the contiguous U.S., including synopsis and forecast for more than 200 routes and local vicinities. (Not all NWS forecast offices issue all three of these products.) These products may be used in the Telephone Information Briefing Service (TIBS), Pilotís Automatic Telephone Weather Answering Service (PATWAS), Low/Medium Frequency (L/MF) and VHF omni-directional radio range (VOR) facilities. TWEB products are valid for 12 hours and are issued 4 times a day at 0200Z, 0800Z, 1400Z, and 2000Z. A TWEB route forecast or vicinity forecast will not be issued if the TAF for that airport has not been issued. A NIL TWEB will be issued instead.

A TWEB route forecast is for a 50-nautical-mile wide corridor along a line connecting the end points of the route. A TWEB local vicinity forecast covers an area with a radius of 50 nautical miles. The route and vicinity forecasts describe specific information on sustained surface winds (25 knots or greater), visibility, weather and obscuration to vision, sky conditions (coverage and ceiling/cloud heights), mountain obscurement, and nonconvective low-level wind shear. If visibility of 6SM or less is forecast, obstructions to vision and/or weather will be included. Thunderstorms and volcanic ash will always be included regardless of the visibility. Cloud bases can be described either in MSL or AGL (CIGS or BASES). It depends on which statement is used: "ALL HGTS MSL XCP CIGS." or "ALL HGTS AGL XCP TOPS." Use of "AGL," "CIGS," and "BASES" should be limited to cloud bases within 4,000 feet of the ground. Cloud tops, referenced to MSL, should also be forecasted following the sky cover when expected to be below 15,000 MSL using the sky cover contractions FEW, SCT, or BKN. Nonconvective low-level wind shear will be included when the TAF for the airport involved has issued a nonconvective low-level wind shear forecast. Expected areas of icing and turbulence will not be included.

NWS Wichita provides TWEB Route 271 from Wichita (ICT) to Russell (RSL) to North Platte (LBF) and a Wichita (ICT) Local Vicinity Forecast.

Rangeland Fire Danger Index The Rangeland Fire Danger Index for Kansas is a product that is compiled and transmitted from the NWS Topeka Office. The product is used to provide short range planning for state and local fire-concerned agencies. It is routinely prepared between 4:00 and 5:30 am each day, year round. Also, the forecast may be updated at 11:15 am, if necessary. Forecasts are generated for each of six Kansas Fire Weather Divisions - Northwest, North Central, Northeast, Southeast, South Central, and Southwest. NWS Wichita calculates that portion of the index that pertains to the South Central and Southeast Kansas Divisions. The index values are Low, Moderate, High, Very High, or Extreme.

Spot Fire Forecasts: Spot Forecasts are issued for the following instances only:

  • For prescribed Federal burns at the Tallgrass Prairie Wildlife Preserve in Chase County.
  • For existing on-going wildfires or when Federal land and/or Federal resources are, or might be involved in fire suppression efforts, in any of the 26 counties in our County Warning Area. [As requested by state, local, county agencies]

Some elements provided for support include: Sky cover, weather, precipitation, maximum and minimum temperatures, relative humidity (max and min), wind at 20 feet above ground level, significant/sudden changes in wind speed and direction, transport wind, mixing height, and the Haines Index.

The Spot Forecasts are made available to users either via facsimile or via the Fire Weather Section of our homepage.


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