What Does Scattered Showers Mean?

October 4, 2023

We often hear weather forecasters refer to the weather in terms of rain or showers. But what does this actually mean? If you read the forecast and it says showers then it means that there will be occasional rainfall throughout the day, usually in the form of light down pours. Showers can be a very pleasant experience, but if it rains for long periods it can be quite annoying.

Scattered showers, on the other hand, are generally described as continuous rainfall in a small part of the area being covered by the rain. It might rain for hours and then clear up, which will make a lot of people quite happy! The difference between these two types of rain can seem subtle but it makes a huge difference in the overall feel of a weather event.

Isolated vs Scattered Showers

When you see a weather forecast that includes the words scattered or isolated, this can be a little confusing for those not familiar with meteorology. In this article we will explain what these terms mean and how they relate to a specific situation. When a meteorologist mentions scattered showers or thunderstorms this implies that 30 to 50 percent of the forecasted area may experience measurable precipitation. This is a much higher chance of precipitation than when a forecaster simply states that there is a chance of rain. This could be due to a more specific forecasting method or the fact that there is a lot of moisture in the air.


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