Q:

Which is worse: scattered or isolated thunderstorms?

A:

Quick Answer

Scattered thunderstorms cover a large area and are likely to include several storm rounds. Storm chaser Adam Lucio explains that "scattered" and "isolated" descriptors have no bearing on a thunderstorm's actual intensity. These descriptions refer to the coverage a thunderstorm has over a certain area.

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Full Answer

Scattered thunderstorms are those that affect at least 30 to 50 percent of an area at any given time. Lucio explains that scattered thunderstorms display an "on and off" type of pattern with periods of sunshine between multiple storm rounds, sometimes lasting an entire day. Isolated thunderstorms are limited to 10 or 20 percent coverage of an area and usually only have one storm round. Once an isolated storm line moves through an area, the skies are usually clear for the rest of the day.

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Related Questions

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    What are scattered thunderstorms?

    A:

    "Scattered thunderstorms" means that at any given moment, 30 to 50 percent of a particular area could experience an active storm, according to Aerostorms. This term deals with coverage, not intensity.

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  • Q:

    Where do thunderstorms occur ?

    A:

    According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, thunderstorms occur most frequently in temperate climates where warm, moist air encounters pockets of cool air. The four categories of thunderstorms are single-cell storms, multi-cell storms, multi-cell storm lines and supercell thunderstorms. A closely related weather phenomenon is the dry thunderstorm, characterized by frequent lightning strikes that cause raging wildfires in late summer and early autumn.

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  • Q:

    How are thunderstorms made?

    A:

    Thunderstorms need three elements in order to form. One of these elements is moisture. The second element is rapidly rising, warm and unstable air. The third element is lifting, commonly produced from fronts and mountains.

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    How are thunderstorms measured?

    A:

    Meteorologists use the Lifted Index (LI) to estimate the atmosphere's potential to produce severe thunderstorms. The Lifted Index measures the temperature of rising air in the atmosphere to determine the likelihood of a thunderstorm. Satellite imagery is also used to track thunderstorms.

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