Forecasting severe weather is a lot like baking a cake. A lot of ingredients go into making one. However, if one ingredient isn’t there, or if the balance of the ingredients is off, your dessert may not come out looking like a cake.
The same goes for severe weather. If you don’t have the right ingredients at the right quantities, you won’t get severe weather.
Deciding when to put general thunderstorms in the forecast versus severe weather can be a delicate balance.
Severe weather requires a trigger, such as a cold front, fuel, moisture to tap into, instability, to keep things churned up and unstable in the atmosphere, and wind shear, which is a turning of the winds with height.
If any of these ingredients are missing, or if there is way too much of one, your severe thunderstorm cake could be a flop.