When is a Risk Not Really a Risk?


Risk of Damaging Winds for Wednesday, April 6, 2009

Now I don’t want to criticize the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, they are following their set guidelines, but in my years of stormchasing I don’t recall a slight risk here in Iowa with such a small threat of severe weather.  Generally a slight risk carries a risk of between 5% and 15% of severe wind and hail. At its lowest it can also carry a 2% risk of tornadoes.

In this case there is no percentage risk of tornadoes, a 15% percent risk of hail and as you case see in the picture, just a 5% chance of damaging wind.  While the threat is there, the lack of components leaves this analysis a bit lacking.  While the “slight risk” designation is the same type as what was seen last month when a tornado touched down in Linn County, I want people to understand that risk area is a generality.  Several factors go into the severe risk, or convective outlook as it’s known.

So because we are in a slight risk today I will prepare my gear but in no way believe anything truly worth exhausting a tape and a tank of gas on will develop.  If that changes we’ll be ready and will continue to update posts on here if conditions warrant.

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