Breakdown: Why understanding severe weather risks is important

Why understanding severe weather risks are important

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Severe weather is a common occurrence in the Mid-South during all four seasons. When it comes to strong and severe storms, understanding what the colors and text means could better help you prepare for incoming severe weather.

In this episode of the Breakdown we will explain Severe Weather Risk areas, what it means and why you need to know more about it.

When severe weather is on the way, days in advance, the First Alert Weather team will show you graphics from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) out of Norman, Oklahoma.

This graphic will highlight areas where thunderstorm activity is likely. The risk area is ranked from marginal risk all the way to high. Let’s break down what each risk category means and what you can expect.

List of SPC Outlook Definitions
List of SPC Outlook Definitions (Source: National Weather Service)

Level 1 – Marginal Risk (MRGL). This is colored dark green on a map. This risk area means isolated severe thunderstorms are possible. These events will be limited in duration and/or coverage and/or intensity.

Level 2 – Slight Risk (SLGT). This is colored yellow on a map. This risk area means that scattered severe storms are possible. Short-lived and/or not widespread, isolated intense storms possible.

Level 3 – Enhanced Risk (ENH). This is colored orange-brown on a map. This risk area means numerous severe storms are possible. More persistent and/or widespread, a few storms could be intense.

Level 4 – Moderate Risk (MDT). This is colored red on a map. This means that widespread severe storms are likely. Long-lived widespread and intense across the risk area.

Level 5 – High Risk (HIGH). This is colored purple or fuchsia on a map. This means that widespread severe storms are expected. Long-lived, very widespread and particularly intense in nature.

The SPC also issues General Thunderstorms. This is colored in a light green on a map. This means that no severe storms are expected. Lightning and flooding threats will exist with all thunderstorms.

When storms are in the forecast, understanding what the risk level is and what it means could be the difference between life a death.

Always stay weather aware leading up to a severe weather event and have multiple ways to receive watches and warnings.

Also keeping it with the First Alert Weather Team and we will always keep you up-to-date when severe weather threatens

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