UPDATES(28 April 2013): Updated to add 16/17 April 2013 outlooks. Also added verification for all days.
This morning, weather enthusiasts woke to a Storm Prediction Center (SPC) Day 3 Moderate Risk outlook for severe thunderstorms. Most weather enthusiasts already know a Day 3 Moderate Risk outlook is a pretty rare occurrence, but just how rare is it? The simple and misleading answer is that since 2000, and including today’s,
only 10 11 Day 3 Moderate Risk outlooks have been issued. The more precise answer is a bit more complex.
The SPC is continually refining their products based on the state of the science and user feedback. As such the criteria for a Day 3 Moderate Risk outlook has changed over time. Currently, it takes an “Any Severe” probability of 45% and a “Significant Severe” probability of 10% to reach Day 3 Moderate Risk category. Previously it was possible to ascertain the Day 3 Moderate Risk with as little as an “Any Severe” probability as low as 30%, which has happened several more times since the change in probability criteria. Therefore, it is difficult to compare old Day 3 Moderate Risks to current Day 3 Moderate Risks. However, I’ve attempted to break them down below.
Below is a table of the date of issuance for Day 3 Moderate Risk outlooks: