What does ‘isolated thunderstorms’ mean and how does it differ from ‘widespread’ or ‘scattered’? – The Sun
THUNDERSTORMS are sudden electric discharges, resulting from atmospheric conditions and are often accompanied by heavy rain or hail.
From isolated storms to scattered and widespread – her is all you need to know about how storms are defined on weather forecasts.
What does isolated thunderstorms mean in weather reports?
Whether a storm is scattered or isolated has nothing to do with the intensity or severity of the storms.
The difference lies in the coverage of the storms over a forecast area.
If the forecast calls for isolated storms, then only one or two storms are expected in an area with the rest of the day to be storm free.
Also isolated thunderstorms mean less of the forecast area will experience storms, limited to maybe ten to 20 per cent of the area.
The term "isolated" is used to describe the behaviour of a thunderstorm, rather than its impact or severity.
How is it different from scattered or widespread thunderstorms?
Scattered thunderstorms mean at any one given time at least 30 to 50 per cent of the area could be affected by thunderstorms.
On "scattered" thunderstorm days, the area will experience storms intermittently or "off and on" throughout a day, and may even experience multiple rounds of thunderstorms.
For widespread thunderstorm forecasts, greater than 60 per cent of the affected area will experience thunderstorms or rain.
What causes a thunderstorm?
A thunderstorm is produced by a cumulonimbus cloud, usually producing gusty winds, heavy rain and sometimes hail.
Storms need moisture and unstable warm air that can rise rapidly to form through the cooler air to form.
Thunderstorms are more likely to occur in the spring and summer months and during the afternoon and evening hours.
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