A nearly 35 year old system is getting some major upgrades. Soon the Storm Prediction Center's Convective Outlooks will be adding Marginal and Enhanced Risks to the already existing Slight, Moderate, and High Risks. I spoke to Texomans about these changes, and tested them to see if they could put the categories in the correct order.
No one was able to, and opinions were mixed about the effectiveness of the new system. Some said that the new method is more confusing, while others said it may be beneficial in the long run.
In the new system, the marginal and enhanced categories are added, with marginal coming before slight and enhanced covering the stronger slight risks. Marginal is dark green, slight is yellow, orange is enhanced, red is moderate and pink is high risk.
"If you see the enhanced in the outlook, be more vigilant," says John Ferree, the Severe Storms Services Leader for the National Weather Center. "There's more likelihood of a watch being issued and more likelihood of severe weather in your area when that enhanced occurs. So watch out for it, and understand that its a significant difference."
The Enhanced category will be used for areas that have a 10% chance of a tornado within 25 miles of a point instead of the old 5%, as well as be used if the chance exist for stronger tornadoes on the Enhanced Fujita (EF) scale.
The new changes will go into effect on October 22nd.
However, any time the Storm Prediction Center has your location under any type of severe weather risk, its always wise to keep an eye to the sky.