air weather shows, you have seen us show the Storm Prediction Center's severe weather outlooks in the days and hours leading up to a severe weather event. Here is a look at a typical outlook graphic :
Compare the above with the new graphic below. You should get a better idea of the areas that will be in the greatest risk, and what that risk will be:
The idea of this type of graphic is to outline areas that are likely to see severe weather, and to convey the relative risk that it will occur. While you probably understand the relative threat of a "slight" risk vs. "moderate" or "high", other terms on the maps were less clear. For example the "t-storm" and "see text" areas don't really give a detailed idea of what the severe hazards will be.
The Storm Prediction Center has been work with social scientists to develop language and graphics that spell out severe hazards with more understandable wording. The above outlook will look like this in the future:
The difference here is that the "general thunder & see text" areas have been replaced with contours showing marginal severe conditions and also enhanced severe thunderstorm risks. This helps illuminate the areas within a wide zone that will MOST LIKELY see severe weather.
The graphic below is how the current outlook would depict a possible severe outbreak:
On high-end severe weather days, the Storm Prediction Center often issues a Public Severe Weather Outlook. The new format will be easier to understand and conveys the range of hazards and their locations:
As weather technology and forecasting become more sophisticated, the way the information is presented to viewers must also evolve. Constant research is underway to study how viewers perceive threats when watches and warnings are issued. These new graphics are the first step in producing more relevant and impactful information to help you make decisions that will keep you safe when the weather turns deadly.