Severe weather outlooks

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Updated: 2/27/2013 11:44 am
The Storm Prediction Center issues severe outlooks a few times through the day, highlighting the potential for organized severe weather. This is merely a forecast outlook but is a tool we consider when conveying information to you. This is the current severe outlook for today from the SPC:


You'll often hear us refer to the threat of severe weather. Here are the definitions of these outlooks produced by the SPC forecasters:

Slight risk - implies that well-organized severe thunderstorms are expected but in relatively small numbers/coverage, or a small chance of a more significant severe event. Not all severe storm events will be covered with a SLGT risk, especially during the summer when short-lived, "pulse-type" severe storms are relatively common during the afternoon.

Moderate risk - implies a greater concentration of severe thunderstorms, and in most situations, greater magnitude of severe weather and greater forecaster confidence compared to a SLGT risk. A MDT risk is usually reserved for days with substantial severe storm coverage, or an enhanced chance for a significant severe storm outbreak. Typical MDT risk days include multiple tornadic supercells with very large hail, or intense squall lines with widespread damaging winds.

High risk - implies that a major severe weather outbreak is expected, with large coverage of severe weather and the likelihood of extreme severe (i.e., violent tornadoes or very damaging convective wind events). The HIGH risk category is reserved for the most extreme events with the least forecast uncertainty, and is only used a few times each year.

"See Text" placement on map - As a rule, the "SEE TEXT" is used on Days 1-3 for areas where severe weather may be possible, but enough forecast uncertainty exists (variability in model guidance, capping, moisture return, or other such factors) to not issue a risk area. Note that the SPC severe thunderstorms outlooks are not meant to cover every single possibility of a severe thunderstorm -- otherwise, severe and general thunder outlooks would often be the same.
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