As hard as it may be to imagine on this lovely afternoon, the NWS has put the whole area under a severe thunderstorm watch. Instability ahead of an oncoming front could cause the rapid build up of. showers and storms this afternoon, especially after 3:00 pm
Is "Severe" and official category for thunderstorms? Do they have to reach certain thresholds of wind, for instance?
The NWS defines "severe" thunderstorm as: A severe thunderstorm by definition is a thunderstorm that produces one inch hail or larger in diameter and/or winds equal or exceed 58 miles an hour.
We have a lot of thunderstorms that are not severe, and the likelihood of this afternoon producing thunderstorms of any size is only 50% or so. The likelihood of a severe storm this afternoon is .officially slight, although we are right on the edge of marginal (that's a lower probability category).
These forecasts come out of NOAA's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma: https://www.spc.noaa.gov/
The severe weather definitions are here: https://www.weather.gov/bgm/severedefinitions
Below is a graphic of the severe outlook risk categories that the SPC uses in their reports.
No there were several of the cutest little storms. They were very compact but a couple of them were quite exciting, especially the one that popped up just east of here and went along the south shore of Long Island.
There was a gorgeous supercell thunderstorm in Connecticut yesterday.
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