NWS Jackson Winter Weather Products

photo courtesy Jim Skaggs

The NWS winter weather warning program uses a multi-tiered concept to increase public awareness and promote a proper response to the impending hazardous winter weather event. Generically, the multi-tiered concept is: 

  • Outlook—An outlook is used to indicate that a hazardous winter weather event may develop. It is intended to provide information to those who need considerable lead time to prepare for the event.  NWS Jackson, KY issues a Hazardous Weather Outlook daily detailing any potentially hazardous weather that may occur over the next seven days
  • Watch—A watch is used when the risk of a hazardous winter weather event has increased, but it's occurrence, location, and/or timing is still uncertain. It is intended to provide enough lead time so those who need to set their plans in motion can do so.
  • Warning/Advisory—These products are issued when a hazardous winter weather event is occurring, is imminent, or has a very high probability of occurrence. A warning is used for conditions posing a threat to life or property. An advisory is for less serious conditions that cause significant inconvenience and, if caution is not exercised, could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.  NWS Jackson, KY's criteria for deciding on whether to issue a Warning or Advisory can be found below. These can be adjusted if need be to take into account the expected impact of an impending event.

    NWS Jackson Warning & Advisory Criteria for Winter Weather Events...

    • Blizzard Warning
      • Sustained wind or frequent gusts of 35 mph or higher,
      • AND visibility less than 1/4 mile in snow and/or blowing snow for 3 hours or longer.
    • Ice Storm Warning
      • Damaging ice accumulations of 1/4" or more.
    • Winter Storm Warning
      • Snowfall of 4" or more in 12 hours or 6" or more in 24 hours,
      • OR sleet accumulation of 1/2" or more in 24 hours.
    • Winter Weather Advisory
      • Snowfall of at least 1" but less than 4" in a 12 hour period,
      • AND/OR visibility reduced to 1/4 mile or less in blowing snow,
      • AND/OR sleet accumulation of less than 1/2".
    • Freezing Rain Advisory
      • Ice accumulations of less than 1/4".
    • Wind Chill Warning
      • Wind chills of 25 below or colder are expected. In most cases a minimum wind speed of 10 mph should be occurring or forecast before a warning is issued.
    • Wind Chill Advisory
      • Wind chills of 10 below to 24 below are expected. In most cases a minimum wind speed of 10 mph or more should be occurring or forecast before an advisory is issued.

    Winter Weather Watches, Warnings and Advisories for east Kentucky will be issued via the Winter Weather Message product.

  • Detailed Forecast—We have several ways for you to know when to expect the winter weather to impact you.  In addition to a detailed Seven Day Text Forecast for your particular location of interest, you can also find an Hourly Forecast Weather Graph, which will better illustrate the timing of the onset of the snow, rain, or ice.  Forecast maps of temperature, precipitation amounts and probabilities, and several other elements are also available for all of eastern Kentucky on our Local Graphical Forecasts page and Storm Total Precipitation Graphics page.
  • Winter Weather Monitor—Our Winter Weather Monitor page provides access to important winter weather forecast information and the ability to watch the event unfold through area observations and web cams.  Travel conditions and information on which roads may be impacted during elevation dependent winter weather events can also be found on our Winter Weather Monitor page. 

When winter weather threatens, it’s prudent to listen to NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards and check the forecast frequently on the NWS Jackson, KY website.

Still want to know more???  Check the following links for more in depth information on the Products and Services offered by National Weather Service:

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