wickedwx.com wants you to know what your current severe weather risk is. This site focuses on the severe weather threats associated with warmer weather such as tornadoes, flash flooding, hail, and damaging winds.
Most of the information comes from the Storm Prediction Center, which is based in Norman, Oklahoma. The SPC covers the severe weather threat to the continental United States.
If you're in an affected area, make sure your weather radio is working and/or that you have access to local media via radio or TV.
Keep your eyes open and stay safe out there.
It's important to note that severe weather can happen without any of the following happening. However, this is generally the order of events:
In general terms, convective outlooks discuss the severe weather potential.
On any given day, the Storm Prediction Center will issue convective outlooks for Days 1-8. In SPC terms, "Day 1" is today, "Day 2" is tomorrow, and so on.
At the SPC, "today" is defined a little differently. It covers the period between Noon GMT (6am CST) to 11:59am of the following day. The SPC issues 5 different Day 1 outlooks, covering the following time periods:
As expected, forecasting accuracy greatly improves the closer you get to the day in question, which is why it's important to check-in at least once a day during the peak of severe weather.
When conditions actually begin to shape up for severe weather, SPC (Storm Prediction Center) often issues a Mesoscale Discussion statement anywhere from roughly half an hour to several hours before issuing a weather watch. SPC also puts out MCDs for hazardous winter weather events on the mesoscale, such as locally heavy snow, blizzards and freezing rain (see below). MCDs are also issued on occasion for heavy rainfall, convective trends, and other phenomena, when the forecaster feels he/she can provide useful information that is not readily available or apparent to field forecasters.
A watch is used when the risk of a hazardous weather or hydrologic event has increased significantly, but its occurrence, location, and/or timing is still uncertain. It is intended to provide enough lead time so that those who need to set their plans in motion can do so.
A warning is issued when a hazardous weather or hydrologic event is occurring, is imminent, or has a very high probability of occurring. A warning is used for conditions posing a threat to life or property.
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