NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — You’ve seen the severe weather outlooks before, ranging from Marginal to High risks. News 2’s meteorologist Marcus Bagwell explains what each threat represents and how we should prepare accordingly.

Who issues severe outlooks?

Each day, the Storm Prediction Center (based in Norman, Oklahoma), issues convective outlooks for the severe weather risk across the country. A convective outlook is a weather term describing thunderstorm development that could turn severe. These severe risk areas are issued based off of forecast model data that meteorologists study & analyze. The outlooks issued for days 1-3 will use all five categories of severe weather potential. Outlooks released for days 4-8 only use two categories.

The five severe categories listed below are: Marginal, Slight, Enhanced, Moderate, & High.

Storm Prediction Center’s severe weather risk categories. Each risk category is a probability of seeing a severe weather event within 25 miles of a location. Image Courtesy: National Weather Service

Marginal Risk (level 1/5)

This is the lowest threat category, indicating that the severe storms will be extremely short-lived and confined to an isolated area.

Slight Risk (level 2/5)

In this criteria, storms are capable to be severe of varying intensity, but will not be widespread across the issued area.

Enhanced Risk (level 3/5)

This risk was added as a step above the Slight Risk in 2014. With this category, numerous severe storms are possible, lasting longer and possibly widespread.

Moderate Risk (level 4/5)

When reaching this level, there is a high degree of confidence that severe storms will contain damaging wind gusts, hail, and/or tornadoes. These storms will impact multiple areas and track long durations.

High Risk (level 5/5)

At the highest risk possible, storms are particularly dangerous and will post a major risk to life & property for many locations. This risk is reserved when there is high confidence for violent tornadoes to occur.

Weather Alert

With any risk category, News 2 uses Weather Alert mode for coverage. The purpose of this change in on-air look and first coverage of weather in our newscasts is to give you the latest notice of storm timing, threats, and impacts. Providing this information can help you plan ahead before severe weather occurs.

Don’t forget to take the power and reliability of the WKRN Weather Authority with you at all times by downloading the News 2 Storm Tracker app.