What does "scattered thunderstorms" mean?

JulieNMM

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 8, 2006
We are from California where it only rains in the winter, and when it does rain, it's cold and the rain lasts all day. We will be at WDW next week and the forecast says either "AM thunderstorms", "PM thunderstorms", or "scattered thunderstorms". What does this mean? I bought ponchos for the family but DH says he won't need one -- he'll just walk around without it. I think he is used to California where it only sprinkles (we are in a drought!) every now and then. We own umbrellas but use them like once a year.

Also, if I take a poncho, then when it's done raining, do I have to try to fold it up and then carry around a soaking wet plastic thing all day? Like maps, I bet they never fold back to their original size, and won't they get moldy? Should I take an umbrella?

Also, what affect will this have on attractions? Does thunder equal lightning? Does that mean anything water-related will be closed down? If so, for how long?
 

Kewz1

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 3, 2001
It's very common in hot places like Florida for storms to pop up during the heat of the day. No way to predict really where or when thus the term scattered. I grew up in FL. I can remember it raining in my front yard but not the back. Now that is scattered.

And you are correct - the ponchos will never fold up quite as neatly. My experience is ponchos tend to give a little more protection but then you have a wet poncho to deal with. We shake ours to get off as much water and then fold them inside out. Not perfect but it works.

If there is lightening within a certain distance outdoor rides will shut down.

The good news is these showers are generally over quickly - not always - and the parks might just clear out a bit.

Enjoy you trip!

Kristen
 

ArwenMarie

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 10, 2013
Yes thunder means there is lightning around, even if you can't see it (the heat of the lightning is what makes the sound of the thunder) If you hear thunder, get inside somewhere ASAP, not just under an awning or whatever.

Scattered thunderstorms means the conditions are right for thunderstorms, but other than that they have no idea lol.

I wouldn't bother with umbrellas. Ponchos are the way to go. The Disney ones you can buy there are great, and you can hang them and reuse them throughout your trip and beyond.

We usually have a backpack and we shake them out and shove them in there if we are done with them and then hang them and let them dry back in the room. Repeat the next day. They won't go back to the original shape but you can stuff them in pretty good.
 
  • BrianL

    Doom Buggy Driver
    Joined
    Jul 24, 2013
    In Florida chances are you will see a quick thundershower in the afternoon that will move on relatively quickly. It is very common in the summer. It could rain or even storm for 15 minutes then go back to being sunny. Like, I once got in line for Space Mountain and it was crystal clear sunny. When I came out the sky was crystal clear sunny, but the ground was soaked. Ponchos are helpful, but I hardly even use mine, unless it's to mitigate Splash Mountain soakage.
     

    luvgoing2disney

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 9, 2007
    But be prepared that when you wear ponchos that even if it is raining, they can get very hot. Don't be surprised if, when you take them off, your clothes will be wet from perspiration. The poncho's don't "breathe" very much.

    Yon also take a plastic bag so that if you use them, just fold them inside the bag to reduce the chance of other things getting wet.
     

    nkereina

    Last chance to lose your keys.
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2009
    We wait and buy the Disney ponchos when/if we need them. This way, we don't have to carry them around. The ponchos are less than $10 for adult sizes and are pretty good quality. They'll also replace it if it rips. Every store will have ponchos if it starts to rain.
     

    AngiTN

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 7, 2011
    But be prepared that when you wear ponchos that even if it is raining, they can get very hot. Don't be surprised if, when you take them off, your clothes will be wet from perspiration. The poncho's don't "breathe" very much.

    Yon also take a plastic bag so that if you use them, just fold them inside the bag to reduce the chance of other things getting wet.
    This is why I prefer an umbrella for those fast storms. You don't wear the plastic oven and it's so easy to put away when done. We carry plastic shopping bags to put them in and then return them to the locker once the rain passes
     
  • JulieNMM

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 8, 2006
    Thanks, all.

    nkereina, I don't want to have to buy 7 ponchos for 7 people and we will be there 6 days = 42 ponchos at $10 each -- that's $420! (Except DH who says he won't need one ha ha ha). For a random storm or a one day trip, I would do that, but we'll be there for 6 days with scattered thunderstorms all 6 days!

    Thanks for the suggestions about bringing a big plastic bag to put them in when finished. Guess I will just have to resolve to carry a big bag with me. (As the mom, I get stuck holding everything.)
     

    AngiTN

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 7, 2011
    There is a good possibility you won't see the storms every day. Even though they may be there every day. They are so scattered and WDW so big I may rain at Epcot but stay sunny at HS. Heck, I've seen it rain in only half of Epcot before. These are intense little bursts of rain that generate and extinguish themselves in 15 min.
     

    rmm7e

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2010
    Scattered thunderstorms mean that they are spotty, not huge systems. So you might see one off in the distance or hear that it's raining in Epcot, but in the MK you are dry. Or vice versa.

    A PM thunderstorm means that around 3 pm the air gets so thick and humid you think you're gonna die, and then it rains for 15 minutes and cools things down. Then 10 minutes later the sidewalks are steaming and it's miserably hot again. LOL!

    I prefer a mini umbrella or my own rainjacket to a poncho. Ponchos are just messy and sticky. But keep in mind your footwear! If your feet get wet and you're wearing socks and sneakers, you will be squishing around the rest of the day. Bring some flipflops or at least a spare pair of socks. I also carry one of those little swimmer's towels to dry things off.

    The $10 Disney ponchos are reusable, so you're spending $70, not $420. Unless you forget to bring it with you every day.
     

    Shanti

    Momketeer
    Joined
    Nov 29, 2015
    Thanks, all.

    nkereina, I don't want to have to buy 7 ponchos for 7 people and we will be there 6 days = 42 ponchos at $10 each -- that's $420! (Except DH who says he won't need one ha ha ha). For a random storm or a one day trip, I would do that, but we'll be there for 6 days with scattered thunderstorms all 6 days!

    Thanks for the suggestions about bringing a big plastic bag to put them in when finished. Guess I will just have to resolve to carry a big bag with me. (As the mom, I get stuck holding everything.)
    Last July it rained daily, but only for a short time each day. We found an umbrella helpful- no need to put on a whole poncho every time it sprinkled. Ponchos can help, too, & you'll get them much cheaper at a sports or grocery store in your hometown than at the parks- ours were about $4 each. I strongly suggest wearing water-friendly shoes, as clothes will dry quickly enough in the heat (except for denim, which you should avoid), but wet shoes that aren't made for water exposure are unpleasant for hours.
     
  • Bluegrrl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 13, 2013
    And Disney has the 5 mile thunder/lightning rule. If there is thunder/lightning spotted within 5 mile (or ten?), all boat services and even pools shut down. We are a lightning strike capital, so be careful!

    Last storm we had, lightning struck right across our street!! I have never jumped so high!
     

    Duckiedee

    Every Day is Better at Disney
    Joined
    Mar 3, 2010
    Thanks, all.

    nkereina, I don't want to have to buy 7 ponchos for 7 people and we will be there 6 days = 42 ponchos at $10 each -- that's $420! (Except DH who says he won't need one ha ha ha). For a random storm or a one day trip, I would do that, but we'll be there for 6 days with scattered thunderstorms all 6 days!

    Thanks for the suggestions about bringing a big plastic bag to put them in when finished. Guess I will just have to resolve to carry a big bag with me. (As the mom, I get stuck holding everything.)
    You one need one poncho per person. :)
     

    Duffywannabe

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 8, 2015
    And Disney has the 5 mile thunder/lightning rule. If there is thunder/lightning spotted within 5 mile (or ten?), all boat services and even pools shut down. We are a lightning strike capital, so be careful!

    Last storm we had, lightning struck right across our street!! I have never jumped so high!

    I was told 6 by a CM but whatever it is, It has to be a bit away.

    I used to bring the dollar store ponchos and just toss it after.
     

    Alice777

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 13, 2016
    I'm from Southern California and when we went in April, we got couple of thunderstorms. One was during day at AK. Unlike CA, it rained hard for 5 to 10 minutes and before you know it, it was gone. It poured again at night when we were in Universal. This time it poured hard for 15-20 minutes. We took shelter and eventually it went away.

    What I did was I went to Target and in men's section, there was "water-proof" jacket. It was around $30 and although it wasn't long jacket, it kept our shirts/part of shorts dry. Some nights it was little cool, so it also kept as warm. And also as back up, I bought rain poncho at Target for around $7.

    EDIT: I don't think it's mentioned here but I read on other thread, if Disney poncho tears, I believe Disney replace it for free?
     

    AngiTN

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 7, 2011
    I'm from Southern California and when we went in April, we got couple of thunderstorms. One was during day at AK. Unlike CA, it rained hard for 5 to 10 minutes and before you know it, it was gone. It poured again at night when we were in Universal. This time it poured hard for 15-20 minutes. We took shelter and eventually it went away.

    What I did was I went to Target and in men's section, there was "water-proof" jacket. It was around $30 and although it wasn't long jacket, it kept our shirts/part of shorts dry. Some nights it was little cool, so it also kept as warm. And also as back up, I bought rain poncho at Target for around $7.

    EDIT: I don't think it's mentioned here but I read on other thread, if Disney poncho tears, I believe Disney replace it for free?
    Yes, this is accurate.
    And worth nothing they are well worth their $10 or so cost. Those $1 store things are miserable to try and wear. If you are going to wear a poncho, use the Disney ones, or spring for a real rain coat. Skip the $1 things
     

    scrapquitler

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 15, 2007
    scattered thunderstorms means that there might be a thunderstorm here and there, but they won't be widespread throughout the whole area. Some places might get them, and other places won't. I've been in Disney at times where part of our group were in the front of Epcot, and part in the back, and those of us in the front got soaked in a thunderstorm, and those in the back didn't even know it was raining because they didn't get any.
     



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