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Sunday’s storm damage sporadic in FLX

You have likely noticed on my maps over the last month or so a variety of color coded severe weather risk categories, ranging from minimal (green) to the red outbreak category I used last Tuesday. The scale can go even higher, but let’s hope we don’t have to see that. This post will hopefully give you some more insight into my new rating scale and why I word my forecasts in the way I do.Yesterday morning, I shaded most of the area in the 2nd category- a low risk for severe weather with a yellow shading. In addition to the color coding, I also explained that I expected a could strong to severe storms and that there was some tornado threat, even though the threat wasn’t very high.The results of the day’s storms are shown on the map. An additional wind damage report was in Allegany county, not shown on the map. These were all caused by the same cluster of storms, including a report of a funnel cloud near Binghamton and a possible tornado northwest of Watkins Glen.This is a near perfect verification of the forecast I issued- the vast majority of the region didn’t see anything even close to severe, but this single storm was able to produce a swath of damage. The small tornado threat was realized, so while many times in a similar situation there will not be a tornado, I like to at least inform you that there is a chance in case, like yesterday, something does happen. (NOTE: The National Weather Service is investigating today to determine if a tornado did touch down. As of this writing, no tornado had yet been confirmed. However, with numerous tornado warnings and a report of a funnel cloud, I consider that validation enough of the tornado threat).I hope this will give you some insight the next time I put out a severe weather map. On a day like today, where severe weather is generally not expected, but a storm or two could have a gusty wind, I categorize the risk as minimal. A day like yesterday is a low risk- locally intense, but the vast majority of the region has no issues. An elevated risk is for a number of severe storms, impacting aa variety of locations in the area. The outbreak level I issued last week was for widespread severe storms.

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