Relative Tornado Probabilities Explained

If you read the comments in the posting below, “Tornado Threat Today,” you see the comment,

Anonymous said…Great. Omaha again in the cross hairs. At least it is a relatively small chance.

One of the Meteorological Musings readers replied, 

If I remember correctly, Joplin was in a 10% hatched area on May 22 so those probabilities are nothing to sneeze at.  Elaine

Elaine is correct (see below).

Actually, a 15% chance of a tornado in these outlooks is a very significant risk.  Lets take a look at the tornado probabilities attached to the 8am severe weather outlooks on two other days this season:

St. Louis Good Friday Tornado April 22nd

North St. Louis County was in the 5% area without hatching.
The Good Friday tornado was F-4 intensity.

Joplin Tornado May 22nd

Joplin was in the 10% area with “hatching” (potential for F-2 or greater tornadoes)

So, when you find yourself in a 10% or 15% (or higher) tornado forecast it is something to take seriously.

Since posting this morning, a new outlook has been released by the Storm Prediction Center and these are the latest probabilities for later this afternoon and tonight.

Relative probabilities of a tornado for Sunday, June 26, 2011,  issued 11:30am.

You can keep track of current watches and warning with AccuWeather here.

Comments are closed.