Before the storm hits, you need to be ready. I break down the convective outlook from the Storm Prediction Center.
If there is a threat of severe weather, the Norman Oklahoma-based Storm Prediction Center highlights that area on a national map. The scale is based on 5 different risk categories and the probabilistic forecast expresses the best estimate of a severe weather situation occurring within 25 miles of a given location. You may hear us refer to the Storm Prediction Center or SPC for short on occasion if we have a risk of severe weather. The categories are marginal, mild, improved, moderate and high.
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These categories are based on the threshold of severe storm potential and a specific color will correspond to it. This breakdown will hopefully help you understand extreme weather threats based on tier categories.
From level 1, marginal risk. Shown in dark green. This means the storms will be isolated and short-lived with limited organization and intensity. At this point, strong damaging winds and small hail are possible, with the risk of a tornado being low.
Slight risk level 2 highlighted in yellow. Scattered, short-lived thunderstorms with varying intensity levels. Winds could cause damage. One or two tornadoes are possible with hail.
Level 3, increased risk highlighted in orange. Numerous and persistent thunderstorms. A few tornadoes cannot be ruled out. Several reports of wind damage as well as damaging hailstones.
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Level 4, moderate risk highlighted in red. Severe weather coverage will be more extensive with multiple long duration storms. Several strong tornadoes and numerous severe thunderstorms are possible. With widespread wind damage and possibly destructive large hail.
Level 5 high risk represented by the magenta color. This means that storms could cause catastrophic damage. The storms are likely to be widespread, long lasting, and very intense, which could lead to a tornado outbreak.
Each of these risks is a threat and you should take them all seriously.
In this severe weather season, make sure you have a weather emergency plan in place and make sure you have multiple ways to get alerts. I’m meteorologist Kylee Miller.
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