Jul 30, 2021 - News
National Weather Service to get more specific on severe thunderstorm warnings
A man rides a bike down the Bayshore Boulevard sidewalk as a storm rolls in. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Starting next week, the National Weather Service will begin using more specific lingo to alert residents to the severity and potential impacts from thunderstorms — similar to tornado and flash-flood warnings.

Why it matters: 13 of the 22 billion-dollar weather and climate events in the U.S. last year were severe thunderstorms.

What to expect:

  • Destructive: Baseball-sized hail and/or 80mph winds; will activate cell-phone alerts.
  • Considerable: Golf-ball-sized hail and/or 70mph winds; no cell-phone alert.
  • Baseline: Quarter-sized hail and/or 50mph winds; no threat tag means the storm is expected to be at or below base level.

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