Reportable Weather Conditions (Criteria)

SulCom Winter Weather Program

Revised 6 December 2009

The following winter weather conditions (criteria) are all reportable in SulCom’s Winter Weather Program using the methods as indicated in other program guidelines.




All conditions (criteria) listed on this page have equal precedence and value.

Disruption to Primary Electrical and Phone Services

Defined as disruption to line-connected electrical service and line-connected phone service.


NOTE:          Although used by many as a primary service, wireless phone service is not considered a primary phone service for this purpose.

Flash Flooding

Defined as:

-  major structural damage / evacuations

-  river banks broken, water out of bank

-  roads, bridges, or railroads washed out

Flooding - Minor, Inconvenient Urban / Small Stream

Defined as:

-  non-life-threatening / non-damaging water over curb

-  some water out of banks

-  some water on the roads


Click here for the Difference Between Floods and Flash Floods

Fog Conditions

Defined as fog that produces visibility of less than ¼ mile in daylight.

High Snowfall Rates

Defined as snowfall rates exceeding 3” every 6 hours.  Include the measurement period as well (i. e., “4.25 inches measured between 8am and 10:30am”)

Ice Damage

Defined as visible ice damage to buildings, structures and power lines.

Ice Jams on Rivers

Defined as a disruption or diversion to normal river flow as a result of accumulated ice.

Other Damage to Trees and Power Lines

Defined as visible damage to trees and power lines.

State and County Highway Closures

Defined as closures on roads due to snow or ice.

Sustained Winds and Wind Gusts 50 Mph or Greater

Defined as sustained winds or wind gusts that meet or exceed the indicated threshold.  Indicate if “Measured” with instrument or “Estimated” per established guidelines (“Measured” is preferred.)


Defined as thunder heard in the presence of snow showers.


Whiteout Conditions

Defined as wind driven snow that result in zero or near-zero visibility in daylight.


In addition to the above criteria, any criteria on the Summer/Severe Weather Program criteria list not already listed above should be reported during the winter season as well, should it happen.

Since winters in Southern Wisconsin are warmer nowadays and more convective rain events and thunderstorms occur the during winter months as a result, the Summer/Severe Weather Program criteria list is now considered as a year-round guideline.

In the above regard, the Summer/Severe Weather Program communications guidelines/protocols may be used for reporting of ground truth data for the winter months as well.  This will happen as needed.