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Ask Todd: Scattered vs. isolated showers

9:51 PM, Jun 6, 2013   |    comments
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Selena asks, "What is the difference in isolated thunder showers and scattered thunder showers?"

First, scattered and isolated have nothing to do with the intensity of the storm. It all depends on the coverage area and how widespread the showers are.

Scattered thunderstorms mean at one given time at least 30 to 50 percent of the area is affected by thunderstorms. That true for "on and off days" where we will see a downpour for five minutes, the sunshine will come back out, and maybe 30 minutes later we'll see more rain.

If we're predicting isolated storms, that typically means a single storm line will move through and the rest of the day could be storm free. For example, isolated storms typically only cover 10 or 20 percent of the area. That also means there are fewer rain showers and they're more spotty.

If you ever hear about scattered or isolated showers, don't let it ruin your day. Just grab an umbrella.

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