A look at the National Weather Service's storm prediction center

KUSA - Colorado's severe weather season is on its way. 

Severe weather is often devastating and can be deadly. That's why it's important to forecasters, like our 9NEWS weather team, to get the most detailed information to you as soon as possible.

We work closely with the National Weather Service to create accurate forecasts for your neighborhoods.

RELATED: What is severe weather?

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The NWS has nine national centers that each specialize in forecasting the many different types of severe weather.

Its storm prediction center (SPC) in Norman, Okla. tracks thunderstorms with risks of producing hail, damaging winds and tornadoes.

"Our role and responsibility is to try and, in essence, give heads up notices of the possibilities of severe weather," Jared Guyer said, the lead forecaster at the SPC. "When I say severe weather, that involves thunderstorm-related large hail, damaging thunderstorm winds and even tornadoes in some cases."

Meteorologists at the SPC determine when severe thunderstorm and tornado watches or warnings need to be issued and help local forecasters create the alerts. 

Forecasters at the storm prediction center use three different risk levels. The first is marginal, which means the storm isn't expected to be that impactful.

Then, moderate level, which are more intense storms. This risk level is not issued as often.

The high risk level is rarely issued, maybe only a handful of times a year across the U.S. These are the extreme storms that could be deadly.

9NEWS wants you to be prepared for all aspects of severe weather season.

RELATED: Spring means severe weather season in Colorado: Hail the most damaging

Severe Weather Season, a 30-minute special, will air Saturday, April 15 on Channel 20 to help you understand the facts about Colorado's severe weather season and help keep you safe this season.

It begins at 9:30 p.m.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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