Explaining the FOX23 5-Day Forecast

VIDEO: Explaining the FOX23 5-Day Forecast

Quick Facts:

  • The colored bars are there to display the impact level of the weather on your day
  • Impacts can include everything from the actual temperature to severe or winter weather
  • The FOX23 Severe Weather Team has a detailed list for the different criteria and what impact level that falls into

Starting Monday, February 17, the FOX23 Severe Weather Team is adding a piece of information to the 5-day forecast that is shown in every hour of news.

Content Continues Below

Currently, the 5-day forecast includes temperatures, wind, rain chances and the cloud coverage for every day.

Here is an example of the previous 5-day forecast:

Example 5-day forecast from FOX23
Example 5-day forecast from FOX23

The new 5-day forecast has one added piece that will help give a visual level to the impacts you can expect from the weather for your plans each day:

Example 5-day forecast with impacts from FOX23
Example 5-day forecast with impacts from FOX23

The colored bars at the top have 4 levels:

  1. RED
  2. ORANGE
  3. YELLOW
  4. GREEN

Each of those levels means there will be different impacts on your day. The green level is like a green light - all things are good and there are no real impacts expected for your day.

YELLOW IMPACT

This is the 2nd level that you’ll see. The FOX23 Severe Weather Team will look at several different categories to determine if a day is considered to be a yellow impact day.

For temperatures, they’ll look at afternoon highs in the 100-105° range (summer-time) or morning temperatures in the 0° to 10° range (winter-time). Wind chills could be down in the -5° to 10° range or heat index values in the 105-110° range (which is also the criteria for a Heat Advisory to be issued by the National Weather Service).

If an Ozone Alert is issued, we’ll put that as a “yellow impact” day.

When it comes to winter precip, there are a few things the FOX23 Severe Weather Team will look at including any advisories that are issued along with the total accumulation that is possible. To see this day this is what we’ll look at:

  • If there is a chance for freezing rain or sleet, and the totals are less than a tenth of an inch (0.1″) in the viewing area
  • Chance of snow and totals range from 0.25″ to 1.5″

If winds are sustained in the 40-50 miles per hour range, a yellow bar would appear underneath the day.

If the fire risk for the day is getting into the pinks (as seen below) then it would be considered a yellow impact day.

Fire risk example from FOX23
Fire risk example from FOX23

As for rain and storm chances in Green Country, this will break down a little differently depending on the time of year.

For rain, if a Flash Flood WATCH is issued, then a Yellow Impact will show up (unless something higher, one of the levels below, takes precedence). If rain totals for the area are in the 0.5″ to 1.5″ range, a yellow bar would show up.

With storm chances, if a “Slight Risk” is issued by the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, you’ll see the darker yellow color on the picture below. Should that happen, a yellow bar would appear under the day on which this risk has been issued.

Example of Slight Risk from FOX23
Example of Slight Risk from FOX23


ORANGE IMPACT

The third impact level will show up orange underneath the day label.

Looking at storm chances, if an “Enhanced Risk" is issued (like the darker orange in the pic below) an orange bar would appear on the 5-day forecast.

Example of Enhanced Risk from FOX23
Example of Enhanced Risk from FOX23

If rainfall totals for the area are in the 1.5″ to 3.0″ range, you’d see the orange bar.

Here are a few of the other things that would cause an orange bar to show up:

  • Winds sustained at more than 50 miles per hour
  • Winter Storm Warning issued for snow or ice. Snow totals in the 1.5″ to 3″ range for the FOX23 viewing area with ice totals in the 0.1″-0.5″ range
  • Heat index in the 110-115° range (also where an Excessive Heat Warning is issued)
  • Wind chills from -25° to -5° possible
  • Low temperatures from -5° to 0°
  • High temperatures from 105° to 110°

In regards to fire danger - an orange bar would appear below the day label if the threat starts climbing into the dark purples and the “extreme” category on our threat predictors (seen below).

Fire threat example from FOX23
Fire threat example from FOX23

RED IMPACT

When you see a red bar underneath this day, this is one of the biggest impact days. This type of day can happen any time of year from spring storm season to the winter weather season.

In order to get to this level, the FOX23 Severe Weather Team is going to be looking for several things including if a “Moderate risk” is issued by the Storm Prediction Center (seen below in the red color).

Example of Moderate Risk from FOX23
Example of Moderate Risk from FOX23

If rain totals are greater than 3″ for the viewing area, heat index higher than 115° and wind chill below -25°.

As for temperatures, if lows are going to be BELOW -5° or highs ABOVE 110° a red bar would appear.

Looking at the winter weather scenarios, of a Heavy Snow Warning, Blizzard Warning or Ice Storm Warning are issued, the red bar would appear. Snowfall totals would need to be in the 3″ or more range or the ice totals greater than 0.5″.

To stay up-to-date on the changes in the weather and the impacts expected, you can Download the FOX23 Weather App and sign up for the special FOX23 Severe Weather Team Newsletter.