WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

What does "scattered showers" mean -- and what does "isolated showers" mean. And what's the difference between the two?

Posted June 17, 2008 10:40 a.m. EDT

MIKE MOSS SAYS:        Michele,      The difference is in the extent of coverage and the associated likelihood, or probability, of measurable precipitation associated with the showers. Isolated activity means that only about 5-20% of the forecast area is covered at any one time. The term "scattered" equates to coverage of around 30-50%, and thus a better chance of a storm occurring a given location. These terms can be used in reference to observed showers and storms (seen on radar, for example) or to anticipated coverage in a forecast.