"Moderate Risk": What Does That Mean?
February 20, 2014
By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Andrew Rosenthal
The government`s Storm Prediction Center has issued a Moderate Risk of severe thunderstorms. What does this mean?
The Storm Prediction Center uses a three-point scale, ranging from Slight to High Risk, and a Moderate Risk is the middle option. This means that there is an enhanced potential for dangerous weather compared to Slight Risk areas. Typically, a Moderate Risk area is issued when a widespread severe storm or tornado outbreak is expected.
Threats to areas in a Moderate Risk typically include:
- The likelihood of tornadoes, often strong and/or long-lasting
- Frequent lightning
- Damaging winds, often in excess of 70 mph
- Large hail in excess of 2 inches
When a Moderate Risk area is issued, it should be taken very seriously. Its presence means that government forecasters are confident enough that widespread storms will develop, and that these storms are capable of causing significant damage or even causing fatalities.
For anyone in a Moderate Risk area, it would be wise to keep an eye on the sky during any activities, and be prepared to take shelter at a moment`s notice.
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