Create your own Hourly Weather Forecast!

The availability of the National Weather Service’s National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD) allows users of our data to create forecasts in different formats including text and graphics. The NDFD is a seamless mosaic of digital forecasts from NWS field offices working in collaboration with the National Centers for Environmental Prediction. 

For more information on the NDFD, check out www.nws.noaa.gov/ndfd

This data is available to users in southern Wisconsin on the website of the National Weather Service (NWS) located near Sullivan, in eastern Jefferson County. Our web address is www.weather.gov/mkx.

The availability of the NDFD database offers another substantial benefit. By using the weather forecast interface on our website in conjunction with the NDFD database, you can create an hourly forecast for a 1.5 mile grid point of the most common forecasted weather elements including temperature, dewpoint, wind direction and wind speed, precipitation chance and amount of precipitation. 

To access this feature on our website, you first need to click on a desired location on the "Point and Click" map of southern Wisconsin as illustrated below in figure 1, which is located on the main page of our website.  

Southern Wisconsin
Figure 1

The seven day forecast in text and icons for the selected location will then appear in the web browser, similar to figure 2. Take a good look at this page, as there is a substantial amount of information presented. 

Seven Day forecast page
Figure 2

Scroll down to the “Additional Forecasts and Information” section and click on the “Hourly Weather Graph”. 

Additional Forecasts and Information menu
Figure 3

A chart displaying a 48 hour forecast for a series of default weather elements will then appear in a browser window.  An example of this chart is depicted below in figure 4.

Hourly Forecast Table
Figure 4

The 48 hour forecast window can be adjusted by using the pull-down menu toward the top of the display to select the forecast start time, and then clicking on the "submit" button. You can also change the forecast start time by clicking on the "Forward 2 days" or "Back 2 days" buttons located to the right of the start time pull down menu.  

Use the "Weather Elements" section at the top to choose which specific elements you would like to view a hourly 48 hour forecast. Note you can adjust the forecasted wind speed units by using the pull down menu next to "Surface Wind".

This hourly weather graph allows users of our data to get a better feel for the diurnal temperature trend, daily dewpoint and relative humidity variability, and most importantly how wind speed and direction will be changing in an easy to use graphical format.

If you prefer your hourly forecast in a tabular text forecast, simply scroll down to the "Additional Forecasts and Information" table and click on "Tabular Forecast". The forecast data will then appear in a table format as depicted below in figure 5. 

Tabular forecast
Figure 5

For our marine users, hourly forecasts of Lake Michigan wave height are available in a tabular and graphical format as well.  Your can retrieve this data by clicking on the desired location on Lake Michigan on the "Point and Click" map of southern Wisconsin (see figure 1) and following the above steps.

Any questions on creating an hourly forecast, contact our office at w-mkx.webmaster@noaa.gov.




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