Weather Blog | Introducing our Winter Storm Impact Scale

A faster and easier way to help you understand and prepare for our winter storms.
KSHB 41 Winter Storm Impact Scale
Posted at 5:00 AM, Jan 07, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-10 17:33:49-05

Hello Weather Bloggers and Enthusiasts!

Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you are curious to learn more about our new and exclusive Winter Storm Impact Scale.

Winter weather advisories, watches and warnings can be confusing. I wanted to create a straightforward and easy to understand way of letting you know how each individual storm will impact you. A tool for you to use in helping you plan for our winter weather.

Below you will find the eight winter weather conditions that create our biggest impacts. After extensive research, we assigned four different levels of impact base on the amounts or conditions each parameter creates. The four levels of our Winter Storm Impact Scale begin with 1 (the least impact) and end with 4 (the greatest impact).

These are the eight winter weather impact parameters:
1. Snow - how much?
2. Sleet - how much?
3. Ice/Freezing Rain - how much?
4. Wind - how fast?
5. Frostbite - how many minutes will it take?
6. Visibility - how low?
7. Travel Conditions - how dangerous?
8. Power Outages - how likely?

The images below show you each of the four levels and what kind of impacts to expect.

When we forecast a winter storm, a timeline will be added to the Winter Storm Impact Scale and we will create additional graphics to highlight what to expect from each parameter.

Winter Storm Impact Scale - Level 1: LOW
Level 1: LOW impact winter storm - What to expect.

Number 1 means a LOW impact storm. No need to change plans.

Winter Storm Impact Scale - Level 2: MEDIUM
Level 2: MEDIUM - What impacts to expect.

Number 2 means a MEDIUM impact storm. Your plans will be impacted. Schools begin to close.

Winter Storm Impact Scale - Level 3:  HIGH
Level 3: HIGH - What impacts to expect.

Number 3 means a HIGH impact storm. The impacts could last for several days. Businesses begin to close. Make alternate plans.

Winter Storm Impact Scale - Level 4:  EXTREME
Level 4: EXTREME - What impacts to expect.

Number 4 means an EXTREME impact storm. Impacts could last a week or longer. Travel becomes impossible. Best to remain sheltered.