Weather Facts

What is the difference between isolated and scattered showers?

Have you ever wondered what the difference between isolated and scattered showers or thunderstorms is? Well, the National Weather Service (NWS) breaks this down into very easy to understand terminology. The term “Isolated” means that they expect less than 15% in areal coverage. The next category is “Widely Scattered”. This means that they expect an areal coverage of 15-24%. Then there’s the term “Scattered”. This means that showers or thunderstorms will affect between 25-54% of the area. The next category is “Numerous”. This means that 55% or more of the area is expected to be affected by precipitation. Widespread is another term used to indicate that they expect the areal coverage to be 55% or greater.