NWS Considering Tiers of Severe Thunderstorm Warnings

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1 Jul 2020 3:08 PM
The National Weather Service (NWS) is considering a new impact-based warning system to better alert the public for especially dangerous severe thunderstorms. The proposal, released earlier this week by the NWS, would add a tiered system to severe thunderstorm warnings. In the event that a storm is packing especially strong winds or large hail, it could be classified as having a "considerable" or "destructive" damage threat to it. The official definition of a severe thunderstorm is one packing one of the following: winds of 58 mph or greater, hail an inch in size in diameter or greater, or a tornado. The potential new system, though, is designed to warn the public about severe storms that may contain especially strong winds or exceptionally strong hail. In other words, if a severe thunderstorm meets certain criteria, it would get labeled with a more serious type of warning. The NWS proposal would categorize a severe thunderstorm with estimated winds of 70 mph and/or golf ball sized hail or larger as having a "considerable" threat for producing damage that could endanger life or property. A storm with 80 mph winds and/or baseball size hail (2.75 inches in diameter), meanwhile, would get a "destructive" tag to it. The point of the potential new system is to alert the public to storms that may have an especially severe weather hazard to them. Storms with winds in excess of 70 mph and hail larger than golf balls are typically far more destructive than storms of simply 58 mph and/or an inch in diameter or larger, and the possible new system is meant to highlight those potential added storm hazards. Public feedback is welcomed on this possible new system through July 31st, and you can submit yours here. Stay with WeatherNation for the latest on this proposal.
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