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Storm Prediction Center outlooks

Whenever severe weather looks imminent in an area, the Storm Prediction Center, located in Norman, Oklahoma, will put out convective outlooks for days 1, 2, and 3 as well as days 4-8.

These outlooks can seem meaningless if you don’t know what you are looking at, so lets break down what the different severe weather risks mean:

Level 1: Marginal (dark green) – An area of severe storms of either limited organization and longevity, or very low coverage and marginal intensity.

Level 2: Slight (yellow) – An area of organized severe storms, which is not widespread in coverage with varying levels of intensity.

Level 3: Enhanced (orange) – An area of greater (relative to Slight risk) severe storm coverage with varying levels of intensity.

Level 4: Moderate (red) – An area where widespread severe weather with several tornadoes and/or numerous severe thunderstorms is likely, some of which should be intense. This risk is usually reserved for days with several supercells producing intense tornadoes and/or very large hail, or an intense squall line with widespread damaging winds.

Level 5: High (pink) – An area where a severe weather outbreak is expected from either numerous intense and long-tracked tornadoes or a long-lived derecho-producing thunderstorm complex that produces hurricane-force wind gusts and widespread damage. This risk is reserved for when high confidence exists in widespread coverage of severe weather with embedded instances of extreme severe (i.e., violent tornadoes or very damaging convective wind events).

It is important to know severe weather terminology in order to be the most prepared for when severe weather strikes. Always stay weather aware when you are in any severe weather risk and stay tuned to your local meteorologists!

For more information, you can go to the Storm Prediction Center’s website: https://www.spc.noaa.gov/misc/about.html#

–Weather Forecaster Hope Kleitsch

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