US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (April 1979) 60(4): 319-326


United States government work


Tornado watch and severe local storm outlook verification statistics reveal the trends in forecast skill at the National Severe Storms Forecast Center. The skill level of the outlook has been steadily increasing since 1973. The percentage of watches verifying has been gradually increasing since 1970. While the probability of detection for tornadoes has decreased slightly since 1974, this appears to be highly correlated with the number of outbreak tornadoes reported in a given year. During significant tornado days, a much higher degree of skill is exhibited for both outlooks and watches. Factors influencing the results are discussed, including the impact of snoptic scale operational numerical prediction models on the severe local storm forecasting process.