Which Is Worse: Scattered or Isolated Thunderstorms?

Scattered thunderstorms cover a large area and are likely to include several storm rounds. Storm chaser Adam Lucio explains that “scattered” and “isolated” descriptors have no bearing on a thunderstorm’s actual intensity. These descriptions refer to the coverage a thunderstorm has over a certain area.

Scattered thunderstorms are those that affect at least 30 to 50 percent of an area at any given time. Lucio explains that scattered thunderstorms display an “on and off” type of pattern with periods of sunshine between multiple storm rounds, sometimes lasting an entire day. Isolated thunderstorms are limited to 10 or 20 percent coverage of an area and usually only have one storm round. Once an isolated storm line moves through an area, the skies are usually clear for the rest of the day.