An Easy Tool For Planning Your Activities Around the Weather

The Activity Planner

Did you know...

There is a tool that allows users to input weather elements (i.e. temperature, winds, etc.) in order to find the best day and time to plan activities outside?

Users can customize the location to be broad (i.e. Topeka) or specific (i.e. latitude and longitude coordinates) depending on the activity.

The forecast stays up-to-date and remains local for Northeast Kansas issued by local Meteorologists?

Well it's all true!  The National Weather Service has created a innovative and user-friendly tool that is available for the public to create their own personalized forecast based on the official forecast issued by our local meteorologists. The forecast is created from a digital forecast data base. With this application, the gridded data relative to the map is converted to a detailed forecast specifially catered to the user's location. Simply choose the weather elements such as the temperature, wind speed, or precipitation potential. A range of values or single value can be entered. Once the location is selected, a graph will be generated showing a detailed timeline of the best times during the day that match up to the weather elements entered. Scroll below for step-by-step instructions on using the planner and interpreting the graphs. 

To Get To The Site

How To Access and Use The Planner

Step 1

Step 2

First, navigate to
and click on the "Activity Planner" link under "Forecasts" in the left-hand menu of the page, or use this link to directly access the page.

1).  Select from the drop-down menus under "Element" to see the different weather parameters to choose from
2).  Once the elements are chosen, type in the minimum and maximum values that are acceptable for 
your outdoor activitiy.
3).  To select the location, either click the location on the map OR type in the latitude/longitude coordinates on the right and click "Submit"

Additional Tips

** Use temperature, wind direction, and relative humidity to create the forecast or even just use wind speed, whatever is important to you and your activity. There is no limit as to the number of elements that can be utilized.
** This application is for planning purposes only and should not be used to create spot weather forecasts (fire weather).
** Severe or Winter watches and warnings are not mentioned in this application. Always check the main webpage ( for the latest watches and warnings issued.

How to Interpret the Graphs

The bar graph shown above has each weather elemented highlighted in different colors labeled in the legend. Each bar depicts the duration of that particular element suitable for the outdoor activity The times are listed in 6-hour increments at the bottom of the graph. In reference to the figure above, the areas where the three elements line up indicate the ideal time period based on the values entered. The graph is interactive and will allow users to hover over the particular area and see the exact temperature or dewpoint for example underneath the graph. 


Additional Tips 

** If the interactive graph is clicked on, the graph changes to a numerical format where the detailed values will be listed next to the hour (converted into Universal Time format).
** Underneath the graph is the link to the Hazardous Weather Outlook. The Hazardous Weather Outlook is a routine product issued by local Meteorolgists to highlight the time and areas for weather that may impact the public. Events include severe weather, winter weather, high winds,  and widespread areas of dense fog.
**The drop-down menus for the weather elements along with the location is located at the bottom of the page to allow any adjustments to be made.


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