New Severe Thunderstorm Warning tags will trigger wireless alerts
MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Starting August 2, the National Weather Service will add new damage threat categories to Severe Thunderstorm Warnings to better communicate impacts
A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for the development of severe weather. A Severe Thunderstorm Warning is issued once storms produce 58+ mph wind gusts and/or 1″ (quarter-sized) hail. But some thunderstorms can be much stronger than others. Storms that produce winds over 70 mph can be extremely dangerous and damaging. Not to mention that large hail is equally as dangerous as winds!
Here in the ArkLaMiss, we saw baseball-sized hail on April 10 in Caldwell Parish that caused significant damage to vehicles and roofs of buildings. The hope with these new criteria of tagging on Severe Thunderstorm Warnings is to communicate the urgency of these heightened threats.
A Severe Thunderstorm Warning will be tagged “Considerable” once a storm produces 1.75 inch (golf ball-sized) hail and/or 70 mph winds.
A Severe Thunderstorm Warning will be tagged “Destructive” once a storm produces 2.75 inch (baseball-sized) hail and/or 80 mph winds.
A storm with a Destructive tag will activate a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) on smartphones, similar to what occurs when a Tornado Warning is issued for your area.
Starting August 2, Severe Thunderstorms deemed “destructive” will activate a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) on smartphones. Criteria for a destructive threat is at least 2.75 inch diameter hail and/or 80 mph thunderstorm winds.— National Weather Service (@NWS) July 27, 2021
Read more: https://t.co/Vu9HyjsoRw pic.twitter.com/XeRvkwgSY0
Only 10 percent of all severe thunderstorms reach the destructive category each year, but those that do are capable of producing very severe damage. With that in mind, this new tag will help to save lives. Past events that would fall under the destructive category include the costliest thunderstorm in U.S. history, the $11 billion derecho that affected Iowa in August 2020.
According to the National Weather Service, the criteria for a baseline or “base” severe thunderstorm warning remains unchanged and will not activate a WEA. When no damage threat tag is present, the damage is expected to be at the base level.
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