New index joins winter storm names and Winter Weather Watch graphics to improve communications of the impacts of winter storms
The Weather Channel® today announced its new Winter Impact Index (STORM:CON), a scientific, point-based winter weather index that provides, on a scale of one to 10, the potential impacts for major U.S. cities in the path of the storm.
“With STORM:CON, The Weather Channel is using its meteorological information and data, resources and technology to bring a more systematic approach to the way we communicate with consumers during severe winter weather,” said Tom Niziol, winter weather expert for The Weather Channel. “By utilizing the expertise of our Global Forecast Center, we can produce a STORM:CON rating to help raise awareness and promote preparation of people in a winter storm’s path.”
The Weather Channel’s Global Forecast Center generates parameters to calculate a preliminary STORM:CON index number twice a day for major U.S. cities. In addition, several subjective factors are considered, including duration of the storm, time of day, day of the week, how close in time to a previous significant winter event it occurs, and whether it occurs early or late in the season. The final index number provides an indication of the impact a winter storm will have on a particular city. The levels on the STORM:CON scale are divided into five categories:
- (10) – Reserved for anticipation of extreme events that completely shut down travel and commerce for several days.
- (8-9) – Impacts that shut down commerce and travel for one or more days, typically reserved for significant storms that occur three to four times a year.
- (6-7) – Impacts that interrupt commerce or travel for a day or less. National Weather Service winter storm warnings for a major metro area would fit into this category. Examples are recently named winter storms Athena, Brutus and Caesar.
- (4-5) – Impacts that disrupt commerce or travel, but not force closures.
- (1-3) – Snow or ice will occur, but will not have widespread impacts.
STORM: CON is the third tool in a series of signature winter products launched by The Weather Channel this year. In addition to naming winter storms and the Winter Weather Watch graphics, STORM:CON was developed to make communications and information sharing easier, enabling consumers to better understand forecasts for storms that will affect their lives in a significant way.
For more information on STORM:CON, visit LINK to weather.com.
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