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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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Go deeper

Biden's extreme weather message: code red

President Biden tours a neighborhood today in Manville, New Jersey, that was hit by the remnants of Ida. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden demonstrated during visits Tuesday to flood-ravaged New Jersey and New York that he's keen to link recent extreme weather events with calls to tackle climate change.

Why it matters: It could convince more resistant audiences about the seriousness of global warming and also fuel the case for some of those major infrastructure investments Democrats have been promoting.

28 U.S. citizens depart Afghanistan on Qatar Airways flight

Passengers board a Qatar Airways aircraft bound to Qatar at the airport in Kabul on September 10, 2021. Photo: Aamir Qureshi/AFP via Getty Images

The State Department on Saturday confirmed that a Qatar Airways charter flight left Kabul on Friday with 28 U.S. citizens and seven lawful permanent residents on board.

The big picture: Friday's flight is the third such airlift by Qatar Airways since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, AP reports.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Smaller than expected "Justice for J6" rally met with large police presence

Police officers watch as demonstrators gather for the "Justice for J6" rally in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 18, 2021. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

A few hundred demonstrators were met by a heavy law enforcement presence on Saturday at the "Justice for J6" rally outside the fenced-off U.S. Capitol, AP reports.

The latest: Four people were arrested at the rally, including one person with a gun, one with a knife and two with outstanding warrants, per the U.S. Capitol Police.