Q: What’s the difference between isolated and scattered thunderstorms?
A: The National Weather Service expresses the probability of measurable precipitation (0.01 inch) for a given location using percentages and terms such as isolated and scattered. Isolated means a chance of precipitation of less than 30% and scattered is used for a 30% to 50% chance. Likely describes a probability of 60 percent or greater.
(Answered by Chris Vaccaro, public affairs specialist at the National Weather Service in Silver Spring, Md., May 31, 2005)