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StormTrackers School: Breaking down severe weather risks

In these outlook’s they define five distinct levels of severe weather risk.

ATLANTA — Today we are talking about the levels of severe weather risk and what they mean.

The storm prediction setter out of Norman Oklahoma issues convective outlooks every day.

In these outlook’s they define five distinct levels of severe weather risk.

Level 1: Marginal risk

The first level is termed a marginal risk and is shown in a dark green color on a weather map. When we have a marginal risk of severe weather it means it is limited in its organization and longevity. It also usually is not over a widespread area and it’s just marginal and it’s intensity. Basically when we have a marginal risk it means that we could see severe storms but they will be isolated and few and far between in nature.  That being said you can still have an isolated spin up Tornado when you have a marginal risk of severe weather.

Level 2: Slight risk

When we have a slight risk shown by yellow on the map the area of severe storms is expected to have limited organization and cover a somewhat larger area. 

Level 3: Enhanced risk

Area is depicted by orange on a map.  When we see orange we can expect greater severe storm coverage with varying levels of intensity.

Level 4: Moderate Risk

Widespread Coverage area of storms are likely where significant thunderstorms can occur.  Several tornadoes will be possible some of which could be intense.  Also very large hail and intense squall lines with damaging winds.

Level 5: High risk

When we have a high risk of severe weather then widespread severe storms.  This risk is rare and is reserved when we have high confidence in widespread coverage of severe weather with extreme severe expected. This would include violent tornadoes are very damaging convective when events with many trees down and widespread catastrophic damage.

On a typical spring day in north Georgia and in the Atlanta area we would normally see a marginal a perhaps a slight risk. When we see an enhanced, moderate, or high-risk on rare occasion these situations are much more serious.

Storm tracker school meets every day at 11 o’clock on the 11Alive Facebook page.

Please plan on joining us tomorrow when we talk about how exactly hail forms in a storm.


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