NWS unveils new "Potential Heat Risk" criteria for summer weather warnings

NWS changes heat criteria for warning system
Posted at 6:32 AM, May 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-01 09:38:43-04

California's National Weather Service offices have announced new heat criteria needed for the issuance of Excessive Heat Advisories, Watches and Warnings this summer.

So instead of analyzing the heat index or looking at the forecast for afternoon high temperatures, the NWS has developed new values called "Potential Heat Risk". Everyone in the state (except the desert) will be able to look at this risk factor when determining heat-related impacts for the day.

The lowest levels of Level 0 (green) or Level 1 (yellow) will be used as a ranking to alert those who are extremely heat sensitive.

Level 2 (orange) will be used when a large area of at least 50% of a forecast zone will warrant the issuance of a Heat Advisory.

Level 3 (red) is generally used for Heat Warning criteria, though it can be for a widespread area or as little as 30% of a forecast zone.

Level 4 (magenta) will be used when there will be multiple days of high Heat Risk, which would also lead to the issuance of a Heat Warning.

The NWS has an Experimental Heat Risk Product Page and we will include that forecast here on 23ABC when a Heat Advisory, Watch or Warning is issued.

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