Jump to content


Thundershowers vs. Thunderstorms


15 replies to this topic

#1 kevyhurt

kevyhurt
  • Members
  • 26 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Vicksburg, MS

Posted 14 April 2005 - 09:33 AM

Just my thoughts.  Years ago, I remember there were exact definitions of what thundershowers and thunderstorms were.  It seems today in forecasts presented by meteorologist, most describe forecasted precipitation (other than light rain) in the spring and summer as "thunderstorms."  Maybe its just me, but I think of thundershowers as rain with thunder.  "Thunderstorms" on the other hand, might be a little more severe in the sense of heavier rain, more thunder/lightening and more wind.

By always describing rain events (with the potential for light thunder and lightning) in the spring and summer forecasts as "thunderstorms" are we not negating the fact that "thundershowers" (which are more docile) do occur more frequently than "thunderstorms"? eusa_dance.gif
Kevin Hurt
Minister of Discipleship & Missions
First Baptist Church
Vicksburg, Mississippi

#2 CT_Yankee

CT_Yankee
  • Members
  • 4345 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Northern Marshall Co, TN
  • CoCoRaHS ID:TN-ML-14

Posted 14 April 2005 - 09:51 AM

You can't go wrong by using "Thunderstorms" in a forecast because it  would include all showers containing lightning activity (Daniel described the technical definition of a NWS recorded thunderstorm in another thread the other day).    

"Thundershower" I believe is a non-technical term and I think its only purpose is to stress lack of concern in a forecast.

If I'm wrong on this anyone can feel free to correct me.
Aaron
Not-So-Advanced Certified Storm Spotter


My Current Conditions

#3 Summer Girl

Summer Girl
  • Members
  • 3954 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Union Grove, AL

Posted 14 April 2005 - 10:55 AM

QUOTE(CT_Yankee)
If I'm wrong on this anyone can feel free to correct me.


I don't think you have to worry about someone here needing to feel free to correct you. They will tell you if you are wrong without hesistating.  icon_razz.gif
Jessica, RN

#4 CT_Yankee

CT_Yankee
  • Members
  • 4345 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Northern Marshall Co, TN
  • CoCoRaHS ID:TN-ML-14

Posted 14 April 2005 - 10:57 AM

QUOTE(Summer Girl)
QUOTE(CT_Yankee)
If I'm wrong on this anyone can feel free to correct me.


I don't think you have to worry about someone here needing to feel free to correct you. They will tell you if you are wrong without hesistating.  icon_razz.gif


Very true.
Aaron
Not-So-Advanced Certified Storm Spotter


My Current Conditions

#5 South AL Wx

South AL Wx
  • Meteorologist
  • 3895 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Montgomery, AL

Posted 14 April 2005 - 10:59 AM

From the NWS:

QUOTE
What is the difference between a thundershower and a thunderstorm?  
   Technically, there is none. In general, the term \"thundershower\" tends to denote a fairly weak storm with light to moderate rainfall and low levels of lightning activity. However, there are no defined parameters that distinguish between a thundershower and a thunderstorm. In fact, in order to avoid confusion, we in the National Weather Service do not use the term \"thundershower\". If a rainshower is strong enough to produce lightning, even just one single bolt, it's called a thunderstorm.


Good job, CT_Yankee! icon_smile.gif
Michael

Bachelor of Science, Meteorology, 2007, University of South Alabama

#6 Stormlover

Stormlover
  • Members
  • 46051 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Madison,Al.

Posted 14 April 2005 - 12:25 PM

QUOTE(South AL Wx)
From the NWS:

QUOTE
What is the difference between a thundershower and a thunderstorm?  
   Technically, there is none. In general, the term \"thundershower\" tends to denote a fairly weak storm with light to moderate rainfall and low levels of lightning activity. However, there are no defined parameters that distinguish between a thundershower and a thunderstorm. In fact, in order to avoid confusion, we in the National Weather Service do not use the term \"thundershower\". If a rainshower is strong enough to produce lightning, even just one single bolt, it's called a thunderstorm.


Good job, CT_Yankee! icon_smile.gif

There should be some definition and Thundershowers used. In realistic terms,just because there is one bolt of lightning and some light rain,the term Storm shouldn't be automatically used.Get real.

#7 CT_Yankee

CT_Yankee
  • Members
  • 4345 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Northern Marshall Co, TN
  • CoCoRaHS ID:TN-ML-14

Posted 14 April 2005 - 12:32 PM

QUOTE(Stormlover)
In realistic terms,just because there is one bolt of lightning and some light rain,the term Storm shouldn't be automatically used.


Why not?
Aaron
Not-So-Advanced Certified Storm Spotter


My Current Conditions

#8 Stormlover

Stormlover
  • Members
  • 46051 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Madison,Al.

Posted 14 April 2005 - 01:54 PM

QUOTE(CT_Yankee)
QUOTE(Stormlover)
In realistic terms,just because there is one bolt of lightning and some light rain,the term Storm shouldn't be automatically used.


Why not?

Because to any reasonable,normal person out there,that doesn't consitute a storm,and since the NWS is here to serve the public,they shouldn't cop out from making that call and differentiating it.What part of storm do they not understand?

#9 DLamb

DLamb
  • Meteorologist
  • 17886 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Brandon, MS

Posted 14 April 2005 - 02:00 PM

QUOTE(Stormlover)
Because to any reasonable,normal person out there,that doesn't consitute a storm,and since the NWS is here to serve the public,they shouldn't cop out from making that call and differentiating it.What part of storm do they not understand?


Actually, the definition I posted last time was from the FAA... Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA is in charge of the ASOS and AWOS stations and the airport observers.

#10 CT_Yankee

CT_Yankee
  • Members
  • 4345 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Northern Marshall Co, TN
  • CoCoRaHS ID:TN-ML-14

Posted 14 April 2005 - 02:44 PM

QUOTE

Because to any reasonable,normal person out there,that doesn't consitute a storm,and since the NWS is here to serve the public,they shouldn't cop out from making that call and differentiating it.What part of storm do they not understand?


I bet someone who gets hit by the lightning bolt would think it's a storm.
Aaron
Not-So-Advanced Certified Storm Spotter


My Current Conditions

#11 BlountWolf

BlountWolf
  • Members
  • 30057 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Blount Springs, AL

Posted 14 April 2005 - 02:55 PM

QUOTE(Stormlover)
QUOTE(CT_Yankee)
QUOTE(Stormlover)
In realistic terms,just because there is one bolt of lightning and some light rain,the term Storm shouldn't be automatically used.


Why not?

Because to any reasonable,normal person out there,that doesn't consitute a storm,and since the NWS is here to serve the public,they shouldn't cop out from making that call and differentiating it.What part of storm do they not understand?


QUOTE(Zazu from the Lion King)
There's one in every family, sire. Two in mine actually.


Define reasonable, normal person. Then, define storm. They do differentiate between a TS and a SEVERE TS. Sounds like that's what you are trying to do. You really think there needs to ba a third category?

#12 Memphis Weather

Memphis Weather
  • Members
  • 11483 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 14 April 2005 - 03:07 PM

I know the Memphis stations here are hooked on the word "thundershowers".

What really gets on my nerves is the TV guys will literally say "There will be a good chance of thundershowers on Monday, with perhaps a couple of thunderstorms mixed in." That statement (which is used by more than one person at more than one station) makes no sense whatsoever. Just say a good chance of thunderstorms and people will likely not think any different about it.

By the way they use the terms, I have learned that thundershowers mean rain with thunder and lightning, overall no big deal; thunderstorms mean stronger activity, possibly severe.

At least in my market, like CT_Yankee said, using thundershowers means the met is likely not concerned by the system.

I guess its more of a personal preference. I notice its mostly the older and more experienced mets that use thundershowers while the younger and newer mets stick with just thunderstorms.

#13 Stormlover

Stormlover
  • Members
  • 46051 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Madison,Al.

Posted 14 April 2005 - 03:09 PM

QUOTE (BlountWolf)
QUOTE (Stormlover)
QUOTE (CT_Yankee)
QUOTE (Stormlover)
In realistic terms,just because there is one bolt of lightning and some light rain,the term Storm shouldn't be automatically used.


Why not?

Because to any reasonable,normal person out there,that doesn't consitute a storm,and since the NWS is here to serve the public,they shouldn't cop out from making that call and differentiating it.What part of storm do they not understand?


QUOTE (Zazu from the Lion King)
There's one in every family, sire. Two in mine actually.


Define reasonable, normal person. Then, define storm. They do differentiate between a TS and a SEVERE TS. Sounds like that's what you are trying to do. You really think there needs to ba a third category?

Well,I have always heard of Thundershowers and Thunderstorms....that's news to me that it wasn't ever the NWS that said it.
Anyway,the local tv stations run THUNDERSTORM WARNING across the screen now instead of Severe Thunderstorm Warning to confuse people even more.
I think if one bolt of lightning hits you out of nowhere or associated with a few sprinkles that that is more a freak occurance than a storm.

Edited by Stormlover, 23 June 2009 - 11:43 PM.


#14 mikeyzx2

mikeyzx2
  • Members
  • 249 posts
  • Location:Madison

Posted 16 April 2005 - 09:01 PM

I would say it's kinda like the difference between calling it a "car wreck" and a "fender bender" if you know what I mean. To me, a thundershower is a thunderstorm.

#15 HawaiianWX

HawaiianWX
  • Members
  • 23 posts
  • Location:Honolulu, HI
  • Radio Callsign:WH7IA

Posted 23 June 2009 - 11:15 PM

Just stumbled across this thread and thought I'd comment.  Whoever said "we in the NWS do not use thundershowers" is wrong.  I still use it, and there are others that use it too.  There's nothing wrong with it.  It's a perfectly good term to describe non-severe, garden variety summertime convection. Many media outlets, including TWC, CNN, and others, still occasionally use it to delineate between days when strong/severe thunderstorms are expected versus very little risk of such.

In any case, now what you see more often is "showers, some with a few rumbles of thunder" in short term forecasts where the forecaster wishes to unstress the thunder/lightning aspect.  Just a longer way of saying "thundershowers."  If someone is REALLY stupid enough to think "gosh, I'm safe from lightning if I go out when they're calling for 'thundershowers' but not true if they say 'thunderstorms,'" then I'm not going to be able to help them.  One rumble of thunder makes it a TS in observer-speak, but we are not forecasting for weather observers.  We're forecasting for the public.

The next step is to go the route of calling them all "lightning storms," which I've seen before, since maybe people think there isn't any danger from lightning if we're calling for "thunderstorms."

#16 apocalyptic_pleasures

apocalyptic_pleasures
  • Members
  • 1409 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Daleville, Alabama

Posted 24 June 2009 - 01:26 AM

I remember years ago hearing of thundershowers meaning cloud to cloud lightning and thunderstorms meaning cloud to ground lightning. However, when TWC started using it, they would associate it with the type of precipitation occuring-light rain showers or even rain showers with thunder meant thunderstorm. Whereas light rain, rain, or heavy rain without the word showers mean thunderstorm. With that said, I would think that by TWC's use of thunderstorm/thundershower, the normal garden-variety isolated "Thunderstorm"  should be considered a thundershower? Whats the difference between Rain and Rain showers?

Edited by apocalyptic_pleasures, 24 June 2009 - 01:29 AM.

Posted Image



Reply to this topic



  


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users